Wednesday, August 10

“It is difficult to find a smile in the Barça dressing room”

Sergi wanted Barjuan return joy to the locker room as a formula for Barça to display the football level that is supposed to be and the new and brief coach will insist on this to avoid the disaster of a premature (virtual) elimination of the Champions League, that is, of not being able to qualify for the eighth. The previous bad results (two defeats and a single win, against Dynamo Kiev (1-0), to whom he returns the visit this Tuesday) have placed the Barça team in an extreme situation.

What is joy for Sergi? Or what is joy from the football perspective? “It is difficult to find a smile in the dressing room,” admitted Barjuan, who has tried to get closer to the players “more as a person than as a coach.” “The joy is to recover our style, the model, find spaces, talk to each other on the field,” said the coach, assuming that “the talent that the footballers already have” will end up making a difference.

Something that for the moment has not been seen according to the results, which has led Barça to a crisis that has taken Ronald Koeman off the bench. Barjuan made his debut against Alavés on Saturday without a victory. He faces his second game in Ukraine, the first in the Champions League. He has only conducted three training sessions. In them he has insisted that there be intensity in the game and order in the positioning. That Barça find itself again.

Strong in weakness

“Faced with weakness, it is when we have to make ourselves noticed the most, the stronger we have to be,” he said, implying that footballers take refuge in the shield. But, at the same time, do not lose sight of the fact that what you win and what you lose is elucidated on the field of play. “We depend on ourselves,” he recalled, feeling calmer at the power recover four footballers at once. Among them, Ansu Fati, who will start, and Ousmane Dembélé, who will be a substitute.

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The meeting in Kiev should not scare the Barça players. Most have already found themselves in extreme situations, facing crucial matches. Also young people, at their level, in each category, playing a derby, a classic, a League or Cup title. It is one more “special” match, but very important for the club in two ways: to avoid loss of prestige That would mean being left out of the qualifying rounds for the first time in 20 years, and due to the economic loss of the income that the Champions ensures, already accounted for in the budget by force of habit.

But the ballot is far from being a big brown. “If they asked a thousand coaches, they would all want to be in my position,” he answered firmly. And he is not a brown either, as he is a lifelong culé who is offered an opportunity to lend a hand to Barça. He did it as a footballer and he does so on his return to the club as a coach.

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