Ronald Koeman, the newly appointed manager of Barcelona, has a tough task ahead of him. The Barca house is quite is disarray after that eight-goal disgrace against Bayern Munich. But still, Koeman is ready to face the heat.
He gave an interview to NOS.
Here are the excerpts:
On his assistant, Schreuder
I know him a little. I know how much influence he had in the 2018/19 season with Ajax and the players are extremely positive about him.
He was Nagelsmann’s assistant too. He is full of ideas. The role that he needs to fulfill is perfect for him.
On Frenkie de Jong
I will play him in the same position as with Holland. I went to see a Barça game and saw him playing in another position and thought that I would never do this. You invest so much in a player, you spend so much money, and you play him in a different position.
You have to play Frenkie in the position where he has the efficiency that you expect from him. He showed that at Ajax, he showed that at Holland, and that is where he will play at Barça too. He has to play in a role that suits him the best.
On Antoine Griezmann
It’s the exact same for Griezmann. With all due respect, Griezmann is not a winger. He has to play in a position where he is used to playing, and that fits his qualities.
As a coach, it all starts with knowing your players and playing them in the right position.
On Lionel Messi
Messi still has another year of his contract left. Of course, he is disappointed, I would be too if I lost 8-2. If he wouldn’t be in this emotional state, then it would be a matter of concern.
Messi is a pure winner. I am very close with Pep Guardiola and I am still in contact with him now. Pep told me that Messi wants to win, he wants to win everything. And if he doesn’t win, he can get very annoyed. I am looking forward to working with him.
I have to make sure that Messi will be able to function well in this team, and that he feels important. He is the captain of this club. He has to finish his career here. Messi is Barcelona and Barcelona is Messi.
On his return to Barcelona
I feel so proud when I drive past the Camp Nou, when I witness all the memories from my past here again and see all the people from the past here again. I am just so proud.
On Victor Font saying that Xavi will be his coach
These kinds of words are out of my control. I have a contract for 2 years. This is in my own hands and in the hands of the players. If things go well, I won’t be sent home, the Socios won’t accept it.