Ronald Koeman Speaks on Messi’s Time at Barcelona | Read
Barcelona’s coach, Ronald Koeman, has spoken about the influence of Lionel Messi on the team when he was with the Catalans. The Argentine left for Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window.
Koeman was speaking in an interview with Voetbal International on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, confirmed that Messi was influential both on the pitch and during training sessions when he was in Barcelona.
He also said whenever Messi lost a game during training, he could go all moody throughout the week.
Of course, he had good players around him, but he made the difference. Everyone seems better than they are because of him. This is not a criticism, but an observation.
I knew how good he is, but it’s still nice to see it up close every day. Everything you would like to teach a football player, in recognising situations, in taking the ball under pressure, in ball speed, in finishing; with Messi, everything is a 10. Not normal, not Normal!
When we did a finishing practise during training, there were sometimes players who started to hit easy balls, a bit of fooling around. But with Messi, everything was: boom, boom, boom. Never frills, everything functional. And always wanted to win everything.
We always play a rondo before training. If the ball goes around 20 times, then the players in the middle must have an extra turn. If that happens three times in a row, the players will form two likes and the two who were in the middle, then walk through and get taps on their heads and such.
I asked Messi if it had happened to him once. Yes, once, he said. In all those years. With him, the older players never lost an exercise against the young. It happened once and Messi was seriously angry about that for a week. Really, a tyrant.
Barcelona has really felt the departure of the Argentine on and off the pitch. The Catalans have failed to win games convincingly since the start of the 2021/22 season.