Tuesday, July 27

“We do not have to change because the opposite is called Madrid”

  • The Barça coach leaves possible changes in the air, although he clarifies that they will be to enhance Barça’s personality

  • Piqué and Sergi Roberto are discharged and travel to Madrid, but the central defender will only play if he is one hundred percent

  • The coach considers that the key man of the duel will be Dembélé due to his speed and his overflow

  • Koeman reproaches Klopp for discrediting Madrid by calling Valdebebas “a training camp”

The classic does not decide the League. There is a third element called Atlético de Madrid which still has a lot to say, even if it draws a decline. In the absence of eight days for the closing of the championship, the victory will only renew the possibilities of continuing to fight to be champion. The defeat does not imply an automatic dismissal and will be appeased, quickly, by the incentives that await the loser the following week: Madrid will fly to Liverpool, cultivating the dream of the Champions League, Barça will play at the end of the Cup.

It is not a decisive duel and that relieves the two coaches, with as much reason to trust their own team as to fear the rival. One lap later, Ronald Koeman he still thinks that Barça deserved to win the Camp Nou duel, so he is not impressed with Madrid, even though he praised his entity, Zinedine Zidane and the “impressive” players he has. Similar to his level, although more veteran.

Enhance your own virtues

“We do not have to change because the opposite is called Madrid,” he said, with the point of indifference of having lived previous experiences in front of the white box. In his days as a player, Johan Cruyff used to make adjustments to his Barça every time he visited the Bernabéu. Koeman, now a coach, finds it understandable. “But you don’t have to make more changes than in other games, because we have to be ourselves, think about ourselves and our ideas, “he explained. In summary:” You don’t have to go crazy because it’s the classic and Madrid.

“You don’t have to go crazy because it’s the classic and Madrid.”

Ronald Koeman / Barça Coach

The Barça coach left in the air a hypothetical initial alteration of the tactical system with the three centrals, and the possible return of Gerard Pîqué. Being an “important footballer with a lot of personality”, he has options to reappear despite his lack of rhythm; On the other hand, Koeman raised doubts by stressing that in a meeting of this nature, the eleven chosen must be one hundred percent of their physical and mental conditions. “But the important ones have to be there,” he said next, without referring to Piqué. But to Ousmane Dembélé.

Unknowns that he will not reveal until the last moment, as Zidane will surely do. Some other matter became clear. For example, the crucial influence that Dembélé will have on the game. “It can be vital,” he said, alluding to his speed and his ability to overflow in dribbling and exploit the free spaces in the white defense.

He did not attribute that relevant role of Dembélé to the absences of Varane and Sergio Ramos because of their substitutes. Nacho and Militao, came out strengthened from the match against Liverpool. If Real Madrid appeals to casualties, Koeman recalled his; from Sergi Roberto and Piqué, who were discharged to fly to Madrid, to Ansu Fati and Coutinho, absent for more than half a season.

Reproach Klopp

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Koeman does not care that the great classic is played in Valdebebas, that “training camp” as defined by Jürgen Klopp, who was disfigured by the lack of respect for Madrid, that implicit discrediting message. Yes, the Barça coach defended Madrid. And he congratulated him on his opportunity to build the Bernabéu during the pandemic.

“What is difficult is to play without an audience, but on any field,” he said, even trusting that the grass, “which is the most important thing, will be very good.” Koeman also believes that the new designated referee, Gi, Manzano, “is a very good referee, he is honest and, in addition, he will have the help of the VAR.”


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