Ronald Koeman isn’t the only coach who had to take a presser ahead of the Barcelona – Dynamo Kyiv fixture on Wednesday. Mircea Lucescu, the Dynamo Kyiv boss, answered a few questions ahead of the game.
Lucescu first spoke about Barcelona as a team. The Romanian coach completely understands the transition Barcelona are in, especially after conceding eight in August. He was realistic and admitted that he does not see this Barça as a contender for the Champions League right now. However, the former Turkish national team manager said that many things can change and that his colleague Koeman deserves time. For the Romanian man, a lot of things can change in six months.
“I don’t think Barça has the level now to win the Champions League. Bayern, City or PSG have more options. Anyway, they have a footballer like Messi, who can be very important. A new coach needs a minimum. six months and in spring it will be another team.”Mircea Lucescu | Pre-match press conference
Lionel Messi was then the centre of attention. Lucescu ran out of superlatives to describe Messi. He stated that the 33-year-old does things that are out of this world, and sometimes does things he isn’t supposed to. The 75-year-old also recognizes that Messi is a freak of nature in all the aspects of the game. “[The six-time Ballon d’Or winner] fights, gives assists and scores.” For Lucescu, Messi is complete and incredible.
“Messi is doing something incredible which is thinking about the team and not about him. He does things all over the field that someone else should do, he fights, gives assists and scores. He strives for the team and wants to help the younger players.”Mircea Lucescu | Pre-match press conference
Finally, the Romanian coach reckons Barcelona are more of a Champions League team than a La Liga side. He stated that teams in La Liga know them better and that it might be better to play in Europe for Barça. Given the Culés’ start to the season, Lucescu might not be wrong.
Ronald Araujo returns to Barcelona first-team training ahead of Sevilla clash
This Saturday afternoon, Barcelona will travel to Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan to face Sevilla for the control of the third place in the table. The Andalusians have already proved they are an incredibly tricky opponent so this clash is bound to be a big one once more.
But there is some good news for Ronald Koeman ahead of the Saturday challenge. Barcelona have officially confirmed that Ronald Araujo is once again training with the team. Of course, the centre-back has been out of action for quite some time now and the Catalans have missed him dearly.
He may be still young and developing but the Uruguayan is a true rock in their defence. Having him available should definitely help in the remainder of the season, especially since Gerard Pique is also back.
However, we still don’t know whether Koeman will risk his defensive talisman right from the start this Saturday, even if he is given the green light. Sometimes, throwing players into the fire immediately, especially for such a huge game, can be counterproductive.
Araujo is surely eager to play but Koeman needs to think long-term when making this tricky decision. Despite the opposition and the importance of the match, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to start him on the bench.
After all, he can always be substituted in if the team requires some extra solidity in the latter parts of the clash. Hopefully, however, it doesn’t come to that.
Either way, this is a must-win game and the team better be ready to face the challenge.