If everything goes well, Barcelona will face Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday evening at the Camp Nou. Of course, with the Ukrainian team barely able to assemble a squad to travel to Catalonia due to COVID-19, nothing is certain just yet.
Today, we should get the results of the final pre-game checks and should no one test positive, the match will go ahead as planned. And ahead of another big European night, Barcelona’s jewel Pedri faced the press alongside his coach during the pre-game conference.
Of course, for him, everything is happening quite fast but he’s keeping both of his feet firmly on the ground.
“I am still young and I want to continue learning from the best. I live with all of this normally. That’s what my family has taught me.”
Winning is their top priority and they will do everything to get the three points tomorrow.
“We have to do everything tomorrow to win the three points.”
He was asked about Lionel Messi and the relationship the two have so far. Of course, the journalists were also interested in the Argentine’s future…
“From day one, Messi has been good to me. He gives me a lot of advice on the pitch. He is an incredible person. I will not talk about Messi’s future. He knows what he wants and what’s best for him.”
Recently, Pedri also scored his first goal for Barcelona, which was a dream come true.
“It was a dream come true. It is a day I will never forget.”
The youngster is quite versatile as well. Ronald Koeman can essentially throw Pedri in which ever position he wants and it won’t matter that much.
“I can play wherever the teams needs me to play. I’m most comfortable in the midfield, but I can also play on the wings.”
Despite his obvious qualities, it was quite a surprise to see him get so many minutes in these early stages of the season. But a lot of that has to do with his work ethic.
“I did not know I was going to get this many minutes. I hope to continue improving so that I can play even more. I’m working hard daily to learn and develop my game. Every day I learn from some of the best players in the world.”
Still, there are some things that could be improved.
“I’m focusing on improving my physicality and strength in training too.”
Playing for Barcelona is a dream for the kid and he can’t believe he’s living it.
“When I made my first appearance for Barça, I was living my dream.”
Koeman explains the change in system following the win against Sevilla
All eyes were on Ronald Koeman who seemed to be have heavily altered the team’s structure ahead of the visit to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where Sevilla awaited them. It turned out to be an incredible tactical masterclass, as Barcelona bested the Andalusian outfit away from home, registering a 2-0 win.
Speaking to the media following the win, Ronald Koeman was in high praise for his players, and claimed that he was very proud of their win today: “I am very proud, especially in physical terms because we have equaled a very strong team without the ball and with the ball we have been calm. That has made the difference today.”
Koeman explained his set-up without giving too much away, knowing that he has to face them in the Copa del Rey in midweek. He said, “We have changed the system to put better pressure on Sevilla. We haven’t left them quiet throughout the match. Today’s key was not to let Sevilla play and have a lot of aggressiveness. It was a very complete match.”
Antoine Griezmann spent all 90 minutes on the bench for this game, and naturally, the journalists started to suspect if there was a hidden message behind this decision. Koeman replied, “There is no message. We changed the system to take advantage of Dembélé’s speed and then Braithwaite came in because it was the best for the team today.”
Unfortunately, Barcelona had to watch Pedri and Ronald Araujo hobble off the pitch tonight, which is bound to raise questions, and increase anxiousness among fans. Koeman seemed to be calm about it, though, and said, “We have a squad that can overcome the injury problem we have. We will wait and see who will be there and who not on Wednesday.”
In continuation about his comments about the game on Wednesday, Koeman said, “Today’s match will help us pull off the comeback. But we must not forget that it’s a different game. We must understand that.”
He signed off with praise for Ilaix Moriba, who came on and assisted Barcelona’s second goal of the night: “Ilaix came on and he helped us. He was very calm with the ball.”