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Barça president Bartomeu talks Messi, Neymar, Setién, Lautaro, Ter Stegen

Dhaiwat Pandya

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

In a recent interview with the Mundo Deportivo, Barça president Bartomeu talked about various topics including Messi, Neymar, Setién, Lautaro Martinez, and Ter Stegen. Here is what he had to say.


On the squad
“Barça are always a favorite in any tournament they play, especially seeing the winning spirit and competitive eagerness of our players. It is a very suitable moment to return and give a demonstration of talent and ambition of what the players know: playing football well”

On the Champions League
“Napoli are up first in the UCL. The last few days has seen internal self-criticism and I think it has helped to revitalize energies for this unique Champions League format in an exceptional season.”

On Setién
“At no time has Setién’s continuity been up in the air. Simply put, the coach and the players must manage and talk to each other.”

On the current season
“Despite not having won the league, which would have been a spectacular nine from 12 – after eight from 11 which is already a record – we have to look forward.”

On the club’s transfer market business
“We already have seven new players. We have bet on Trincão, Pedri and Matheus for the future, and they will have first team numbers alongside Araujo, Riqui and Ansu. Pjanic will consolidate from the beginning.”

On Neymar’s return
“If there are no player exchanges, it’s very difficult for Neymar to come.”

On Lautaro Martinez
“We have spoken to Inter about Lautaro, but for now things are on hold.”

On Messi
“Messi has said many times that he wants to retire here and I have no doubt that he will renew.”

On Ter Stegen
“Ter Stegen is an important member of the dressing room and for the future. At 28 he is one of the three best goalkeepers in the world, and is a priority to be renewed.”

On Suárez
“Luis Suárez has a contract that, depending on the number of games he plays, he is automatically renewed for the 2021/22 season.”

On the current financial situation
“I want to thank everyone because in March, April and May the teams reduced their salary by up to 12%. Players have adapted their salaries to the level of income the club has now and will have in the future. Everyone understands the situation. In our strategic plan we had planned to bank 1,100 million euros and now we will bank 30% less because of Covid-19.”

On La Masia
“Those at La Masia work hard and there are very good players like Collado or Monchu, who have a very good future. Our goal is to train players to play, not to do business with them.”

On Dembélé
“Dembélé will surprise everyone in a season without injuries. He’s been unfortunate and he has had bad luck.”

On the Camp Nou’s renovation
“The Espai Barça project will cost around €800M. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, there would have been cranes in the Camp Nou by now. We’re close to reaching an agreement with two huge companies for the naming rights of the Camp Nou. I look forward to announcing it after the Champions League.”

On VAR
“VAR is a powerful tool, but there have been different outcomes in similar situations.”


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Coutinho and Pjanic speak post Barça 1-0 Elche

Dhaiwat Pandya

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Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP

Barça midfielders Philippe Coutinho and new signing Miralem Pjanic spoke to the media after Barça’s narrow 1-0 triumph over Elche at the Camp Nou.


“Being back here feels great. I missed playing here, and I’m very excited to continue.” Coutinho told the media. “We’re trying our best to adapt to the coach’s new system. The level of the team is increasing; I hope things go well.”

After having featured in all three pre-season games for Barça, Coutinho is looking forward to the upcoming La Liga season. “I am eager to help the team win. There is one week left till La Liga starts and we are all focused and excited to begin.”

“I feel very happy that I made my debut. It was great.” Pjanic said after the game. “The team are working hard to prepare for the upcoming matches.”

Miralem Pjanic and Philippe Coutinho are both essentially new additions to the Barça squad since Pjanic just joined from Juventus and Coutinho returned back from his loan spell at Bayern – where he won the treble in a remarkable fashion. Things are looking bright for Coutinho, who has featured in all of Barça’s three pre-season games. Culés around the world are expecting big things from the two after having lost Brazilian youngster Arthur to Juventus this summer.

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