Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi is still fully engaed at the club, Ronald Koeman has said. Koeman recently revealed that Barca is focuing on keeping the Argentine happy and firing on all cylinders.
According to him, he has seen no signs of slowing down from Lionel, but the club will handle him with care as he is 33 years of age.
He added that Messi trains hard every day and he is still fully involved with matters at the club.
His words, “If he is fit to play and good enough then he will play, but of course he is older than before, although he’s a player who still wants to be in games and especially to win them,”
“He trains hard every day. He’s very engaged.
“As I coach I like to speak to my players and I also speak to him about this and other things because he’s also team captain.
“There are squad matters, rules, and we speak about a lot of things, not just the way we play.
“That’s part of a coach’s day-to-day, you need to be in communication with your players.”
“It’s always nice to talk about youngsters.
“What Ansu Fati and Pedri have done aged just 17 or 18 in such a big team as Barcelona is something very big.
“Pedri has come from Las Palmas very young and is already playing games against teams like Real Madrid and Juventus, doing so fantastically.
“It is important for a club to have youngsters and for them to get chances.
“You need to switch the team around little by little. You still need the older players, but they won’t be around forever and you need to plan changes in good time, calmly.
“Pedri has earned his place in games because of his work in training. He has shown me what a good player he is and that he is able to play in a team like Barcelona.”
“At a club like Barcelona, you have to win things and I think our ultimate purpose is to win games and trophies.
“You get no prizes for finishing fourth, you need to be first. That’s the mentality that this team must have, we can’t settle for anything less.
“We know that this is a season with a lot of changes, the club are in a difficult financial situation, with issues regarding the players’ salaries.”
“This is a very delicate situation for football clubs because of COVID-19.
“But, Barcelona are still a team that need to win, with the awareness that changes need to be made but still aspiring to the highest level and making the biggest demands.
“That has been the mentality here and always has to be the mentality.”