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Koeman lists the players who are the future of Barcelona

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Photo via Imago

With the Madrid derby set to be played on Sunday in the La Liga, one, or even both of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid dropping points seemed inevitable. And thus, Ronald Koeman could not risk making many changes to his first-team against Osasuna, in the hope of covering up the gap with Atleti.

Barcelona lined up in a 3-5-2 initially, with Antoine Griezmann partnering Lionel Messi as the attacking duo. Jordi Alba made full use of his advanced role and registered the opener for Barça, which was then doubled by Ilaix Moriba, scoring his first goal for the club.

Koeman listed down some players he thought would dominate Barça headlines in the future, naming Ilaix among them: “Players like Pedri, Moriba, Puig, Araújo and Mingueza are the future of this club.”

Koeman also acknowledged that despite the win, Barcelona put in a far from idea display. He commented on their performance, saying “Today was not our best performance, but we were good, we deserved to win. This positivity is very important. We hope it continues like this.”

The Dutchman seemed particularly impressed with Ilaix, much like the fanbase, who never fails to make an impact every time he steps onto the pitch: “Ilaix scored a goal in a difficult game. At 0-2, we killed the game. Every time he enters the field, he brings something extra.”

The Madrid derby tonight seems to a win-win scenario for Barcelona in every way possible. If Atletico drop points, Barça will gain more ground on the leaders, while Madrid dropping points would mean less competition in the title charge. Koeman seems to agree, and said, “The Madrid derby? Our own results are the most important thing. But of course we’re interested in it as well. Any result would be good.”

Barcelona changed their formation after the first-half, bringing on Ousmane Dembele for Samuel Umtiti, shifting to a 4-3-3. Koeman was asked about the same, to which he replied, “It was a tactical change, Samuel had a yellow card in the first half. With the first formation, we didn’t have enough control, and with the change of tactic, we gained that control.”

Finally, before rounding up the presser, Koeman spoke about the special, and inevitable relationship Messi shares with Alba on the pitch, where the two seem to find each other in space every now and then: It is impossible to prevent the Messi-Alba connection. They have incredible vision and composure which helps them link up a lot.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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