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Matheus Fernandes: “I think Koeman has some personal problem against me”

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Photo via Imago

In a heartfelt interview with Mundo Deportivo, one of Barcelona’s 2019-20 summer signings Matheus Fernandes has opened up about the challenges he has faced in his maiden season with the Catalans, and also talked about the strange dynamic between him and coach Ronald Koeman.

The Brazilian midfielder has only made one appearance throughout the entire season, playing 17 minutes off the bench in the Champions League against Dynamo Kyiv in the group stages.

Matheus looked positively bewildered at the lack of faith Koeman has shown in him since he moved to Barcelona: “I think Koeman has some personal problem against me.”

The 22-year old then opened up about his interaction with the Dutchman after not getting any minutes after his debut: “A month after my debut against Dynamo and not having played after, I went to Koeman’s office and asked ‘Did I play badly?’. He replied: ‘No, you played well, but I can’t give you chances. I don’t count on you. You don’t have the quality to play for Barça.”

He was also puzzled about his lack of involvement during training sessions: “In training, I was always in the defence or on the wings – out of my natural position. And there were days when I didn’t even train. I just warmed up but I wasn’t involved with the whole group.”

Matheus reiterated his confusion about not getting any game time, even in certain insignificant matches where players were rotated and he stated that he does not know what exactly is going in Ronald Koeman’s head, and was suddenly told that the coach did not count on him one day.

He also talked about the time he was signed and there was no unveiling, but the Brazilian seemed to understand why since he arrived at a tricky time for the club.

“I can understand that because it was a very delicate moment. The day they were going to present me was the day Leo’s burofax arrived. Then, there was no president,” he said.

“It is not a good thing, but it can happen. Although, I hope that this will not happen again. It is a bit strange and there are some things that I don’t understand. I know the same as you – nothing – because they [the board] never talked to me,” added the midfielder.

“For me, the best option is to stay here, but I don’t know what the club thinks. If I have to leave to get minutes, I will,” added Matheus about his future.

Ronald Koeman has made strict, and somewhat controversial choices through the course of his Barcelona tenure this far. Matheus is not the only player to be inexplicably left out of the team, with Riqui Puig being another example.

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