This morning, the papers are still all over Ronald Koeman’s recent interview with SPORT. The Dutch coach has decided to face the media and talk about various different topics surrounding the club. Of course, special focus was put on his players as he discussed who needs to work on what in order to improve, both personally and for the team as a whole.
SPORT and Mundo Deportivo both went with a rather similar cover for that very reason. Both papers shared some of the most interesting quotes to come out of the gaffer, including the ones on Lionel Messi, the Champions League, Antoine Griezmann and the academy.
Koeman claims Barcelona are a better club with Leo at their side and that the Argentine is motivated to remain the best and win trophies with the Blaugrana. When it comes to triumphing in Europe, however, they will have to improve – a lot.
At this moment in time, there’s no denying that the likes of Bayern Munich are still ahead of them. However, they are changing things bit by bit – the youth players are getting more chances, the team is training better and there’s a breath of fresh air within the squad.
Of course, he had to mention the absence of Ansu Fati, which will undoubtedly hurt the team. The youngster has been a crucial part of Koeman’s plans and will be sorely missed for the following four to five months.
With the transfer window approaching, the Dutchman also confirmed Barcelona will dip their toes into the market, if such an opportunity arises that is. After all, their squad is still incomplete and a forward and a centre-back are on the agenda.
Official: Lionel Messi named La Liga Player of the Month for February
2021 has treated Barcelona very well. They have picked up more points this year alone than they did from September to December, even after the inclusion of more competitions, like the Spanish Super Cup. This charge has been led by none other than the GOAT – Lionel Messi. The Argentine has been rewarded for the same as he picks up the La Liga Player of the Month for February.
Messi was nominated alongside Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, Real Sociedad’s Aleksander Isak, Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir, Levante’s Jose Luis Morales, Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou, and Athletic Bilbao’s Alek Berenguer for the award, but tipped each one of them to win it. This comes on the back of a sensational performance stretching across five games where he scored seven goals (including two braces), and two assists.
With this win, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has extended his own records of the most wins, with eight such trophies to his name now. What is surprising, though, is that Messi did not win the first of his January 2016, almost two years after the award was introduced in the league (November 2013). It is also his first win in over a year, with the last of these trophies coming to him in November 2019.
❗Official — Leo Messi has been named La Liga Player of the Month for February! pic.twitter.com/uvF6w8tU7Z— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) March 5, 2021
In fact, no Barcelona player achieved this feat in 24 months despite winning the La Liga once by this time. Neymar was the first player from Barça to get his hands on the trophy for his remarkable form in November 2015.
Unsurprisingly, Luis Suarez has won the award four times himself, etching his name alongside his two partners in crime. His name is alongside Iago Aspas and Antoine Griezmann, sharing the runners up position in the pedestal for the second-most wins of the award. Sadly, the latter has not been able to mark any wins since joining Barcelona in 2019. Other than the incredible MSN, Ansu Fati is the only player from the Garnet and Blue to win the Player of the Month, sealing it for himself in September 2020.
Frenkie de Jong was within a real shout to win the award last month, but Youssef En-Nesyri’s incredible form for Sevilla could not be overlooked.