The former Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has said the club must “close the book” on the Lionel Messi era after their 3-1 defeat to PSG on Tuesday night. “The feeling at Barcelona is a little bit lost,” he said in quotes reported by the BBC. “When you have a team that is winning all the time, it is very difficult to let the team go down. “I think the book is closed on Messi now. “Maybe in a couple of years they will be thinking about Messi, but now I think the team needs to close the book.”
The former Southampton manager has left the door open for a future transfer of the Argentine forward, but with the 27-year-old currently sidelined with a calf injury, Koeman believes it may be time to move on.
It was quite a shock when Ronald Koeman, the former Barcelona coach, just hours before the Catalans lost 3-0 to Liverpool, spoke of the club’s duty to ‘close the book’ on Lionel Messi’s era. The Spanish coach, who was sacked by Barcelona in October last year, also suggested that the club should “continue to build” for the future, and that they should not “sacrifice the present” in order to do so.. Read more about psg and let us know what you think.
After Lionel Messi departed to join Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman thinks the club must “close the book” on the Lionel Messi era.
On Tuesday, Messi, 34, signed a two-year contract with Mauricio Pochettino’s side, with a third-year option, and Koeman acknowledged it had been a tough road for everyone involved as the Argentina superstar left the club he joined as a 13-year-old in 2003.
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“We must recognize that a player’s life will always come to an end. You must shut the book because we must now concentrate on the upcoming season “Martin Ainstein of ESPN spoke with Koeman. “We’ve brought in new players, and we need to go ahead, and we have time to do so. This season, we have young players in the team, and it’s also for the future; we’re working on the club’s future, and it’s critical that we keep our focus on that rather than on what occurred in the past few days.”
In recent weeks, Messi seemed to be close to re-signing with Barcelona, but owing to the club’s poor financial condition and league limitations placed on each LaLiga team, he eventually departed to join old colleague Neymar at PSG.
“I was aware that there was a tough scenario between the club and Leo Messi, as well as the league, in terms of having the options to retain Messi at the club,” Koeman said. “It takes a long time, but I was shocked by the day and the moment I learned that he had retired from Barcelona. And I was well aware that the club’s financial condition made things much more tough.
“I believe it was tough because we’re not just talking about any player; we’re talking about Leo Messi, who has been the greatest player in the world for many seasons, and we’re all sad that he won’t be playing for us this season.” But, okay, you’ll have to adapt quickly if you don’t want to be disappointed when the new season begins. You must realize that it was a tough scenario for a few days.
“Messi was extremely important to this club.”
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Koeman was upbeat about the start of the post-Messi era, saying he wanted to continue developing young players and look forward to the return of injured players like Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho from last season, while stressing that Barcelona still has a good roster.
“Of sure, scoring goals will be more difficult,” Koeman remarked. “Last season, Messi scored 30 goals. As a result, other players must stand up and contribute more, and it is now more about the team than individual individuals.
“It’s not always just one player; you have to work as a team.” Hopefully, players like Ansu Fati and Coutinho will return from injury, and we will still have a formidable team. We shall strive harder and do more to meet the expectations of those who rely on us.
“We’re still in the midst of it. We must recognize that the start of this season is challenging. We still have COVID for all of the clubs, but we still have guys out with injuries, so we can’t field all of our players since we’re still missing key players. We had a fantastic preseason, and we have some new players on board, but even if we get all of our injured players back, the team will still be formidable.”
Last season, Barcelona finished third in LaLiga, behind Real Madrid and winners Atletico Madrid, and were eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16 by Messi’s new club, PSG. The Blaugrana did win the Copa del Rey, and Koeman said that the objective of a team like Barcelona remains the same: to win championships.
“Winning trophies, becoming champions, and having a successful run in the Champions League are always the goals,” Koeman stated. “Barcelona does not have seasons when they do not win anything. We are aware of this, and football fans will recognize that it will be more difficult. It’s all about the pace of work and the team, and we can make progress.”
On Sunday, Koeman’s squad hosts Real Sociedad (watch live on ABC/ESPN+ at 2 p.m. ET in the United States).
Ronald Koeman is the owner of Southampton, which has finished in the top 10 of the English Premier League three times in the last five years. He’s been the manager of Everton and has led his country, Netherlands, to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2002. And yet, his star was always hovering just below the glittering status of the brightest lights in the game.. Read more about how much is messi contract and let us know what you think.
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