Tuesday, December 7

“I can’t have more pressure, you have to play without fear”

  • “It is not an exam, I do not see a clear favorite. Neither can we surprise him. Nor can they surprise us,” says the coach.

  • The coach asks Barça to “play with personality” and maintain “balance” to minimize Madrid’s backlash

It’s calm Ronald Koeman. It has been a week, despite the disappointment he experienced in the second half against Dinamo Kiev, calm because he has chained two wins (3-1 against Valencia and 1-0 against the Ukrainian team) that have made him regain his peace. But the classic comes with Madrid, a game that can determine where Barcelona really is heading.

“No, it is not an exam,” said the Dutchman, happy to get Jordi Alba back. “We can show that we are on the right track, we know that the result is very important. We have to play without fear and show that we can win,” said Koeman, who does not need to hear from the president’s mouth every day. Joan Laporta that its continuity is guaranteed.

“It is not necessary that the president is saying every day or every week that Koeman continues, that Koeman continues … We have made things clear. But I also know that everything depends on the results”

Koeman, Barça coach

It is not an exam, Koeman claims, but a very important test. “I am the coach tomorrow and from tomorrow we will see,” said the Dutchman in a joking tone. “But now, without joking, it is not necessary for the president to be saying every day or every week that Koeman continues, that Koeman continues, no! … We have made things clear. I feel supported by the president and by the club , but I also know that everything depends on the results, “he admitted.

He lives quietly, knowing, in addition, his condition as coach of Barça in one of the most difficult periods in recent years. “More pressure?” They asked Koeman. “I can’t have more pressure, I think. I know what it means to be a Barcelona coach and how you should handle this. It’s not a problem,” he said. “In addition, it is my first classic as a coach with an audience,” he recalled.

Hence, the coach appeals to the strength of the Camp Nou, a stadium from which thousands of culés subscribers have defected. “Hopefully the field is full or almost full so that there is a great atmosphere and we can make people enjoy,” said the Dutch coach. “I do not know if people have that mistrust; we do not. It is a classic where there is no clear favorite,” Koeman stressed trying to project a message of hope for the duel with Madrid.

“I do not have that fear. We play at home, we have people by our side. They are great games to be able to play, enjoy them and be able to show that we have a good team,” said Koeman, convinced that his “more experienced” players they will be able to help footballers like Memphis, Eric Garcia OR Depay that they will live their first classic. And even his first time having Madrid in front of him as a rival, whatever team they played for before.

Koeman asks all of them for “personality.” The same personality that demands from Barça “when he has the ball” to maintain, at the same time, “the necessary balance” and thus minimize Madrid’s counterattacks. “They play very well on the counterattack, in several games they have done us a lot of damage in that sense,” Koeman admitted.

And that is the slogan that he has launched to his players. They know what to expect. “We can’t surprise them and neither can they. I don’t think it’s a game with many opportunities, you have to be effective, you have to score,” claimed the coach, still hurt by the lack of force that Barça had against him Dinamo in the Champions League.

“For Ansu, as I said the other day after Dinamo, you have to leave him a bit calm so that he can fully recover from his injury”

Koeman, Barça coach

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In that sense, Koeman has once again reminded that you have to be calm with Ansu Fati, which has just been renewed this week by Barça until 2027, with a clause of 1,000 million euros. “It is not a duel between him and Vinicius. They are two young players, who must still show a lot, although both are on the right track,” he commented.

“I can only say about Ansu. Vinicius is not my player,” the Barça coach stressed. “For Ansu, as I said the other day after Dinamo, you have to leave him a bit calm so that he can fully recover from his injury,” added Koeman because he believes that the young forward (18 years old) “needs minutes and games to recover his physique. We must not think that he is Ansu alone but that he is part of the team. We know that he is a player who can make a difference, he has already shown it, but he must work and improve “.


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