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Koeman talks Champions League, Messi, Dembélé

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Photo via Imago

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman held a press-conference ahead of the club’s Champions League clash against Ferencváros. The Dutchman spoke about the current pressure on him as a manager, and stayed positive about his players, expecting them to get better over time.

“We want to start the Champions League on the right foot. At Barça you are always pressured to win as a coach and as a player. It’s normal to face difficult moments, but we are excited to play tomorrow’s game. We must win.”

Ronald Koeman in the press-conference ahead of Ferencváros

Koeman was asked about Ousmane Dembélé’s latest performance with the Catalan club against Getafe:

“He’s training and doing well. He did lose possession a lot against Getafe, but it’s the way he plays. He played better in the second half, and he’s working hard to get minutes.”

Ronald Koeman in the press-conference ahead of Ferencváros

The Dutchman added his thoughts on Lionel Messi’s relatively performance drop, admitting that the Argentine is not at his best form right now:

“He might not be at his best at the moment, but he’s happy and he’s training well. He wants to be the captain and wants to play. I have no doubt about his performance, and I’m sure he will score in the coming games.”

Ronald Koeman in the press-conference ahead of Ferencváros

Koeman was also asked about the club’s failure in the Champions League in recent years, but the 57-year-old pointed towards the fact that he was not coaching the club, hence doesn’t have an answer:

“I don’t know why Barça have failed in the UCL in the past years. If we fail this year then I can answer that.”

Ronald Koeman in the press-conference ahead of Ferencváros

However, Koeman also admitted that Barcelona is not ‘favorites’ to win the European competition.

“We’re not the top favourites to win the Champions League, but we can go far.”

Ronald Koeman in the press-conference ahead of Ferencváros

After tomorrow’s game against Ferencváros, Barcelona will play against Real Madrid. For that reason, Koeman is expected to for some rotation in his line-up, resting his key players.

Everyone has some kind of passion. For me, it is FC Barcelona. I started to write stories about the club I support in 2017, and have been lucky enough to be part of such a wonderful team.