Ronald Koeman: “We have to win every game left in 2020”

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Football Espana

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Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, speaking ahead of their clash with Cadiz tomorrow evening, spoke clearly about the club’s short-term ambitions at his pre-match press conference.

Barcelona go into the game off the back of a fine 3-0 victory in Hungary on Wednesday evening against Ferencvaros, a match they strolled despite leaving key players including Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Philippe Coutinho at home.

Thoughts now turn to domestic football. The Blaugrana recorded an excellent 4-0 win over Osasuna at Camp Nou last weekend and currently sit seventh in the league table. If results go their way this weekend they could leapfrog Real Madrid in fourth.

“Cadiz seem to have a hard time earning points at home, but they’re doing good and they’re a tricky opponent against which we have to be focused,” Koeman said.

The Dutch coach also spoke about Messi’s situation. Speculation surrounding his future has ramped up in recent times after Neymar’s comments about wanting to play with the Argentine next season following Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League victory over Manchester United on Wednesday.

“We know Leo’s situation,” he said. “There’s only one person who can decide his future and that is Leo. I’m not interested in comments from the outside, but rather those from inside the club. We can’t control the outsiders, but from the inside it’s different.

“Messi and Neymar together in Paris or in Barcelona? As a club we have to try to have the best players here.”

Koeman also responded to Carles Tusquets, the president of the managing commission currently in charge of Barcelona, who said that it would have made financial sense to have sold Messi this past summer.

“Tusquets’ opinion about Messi is not my thing,” Koeman said. “Leo has a contract and we want him here.”

Finally, Koeman touched upon the fitness of Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo, two centre-backs who’ve been absent for the majority of the season. He also spoke of the need to put together a strong streak to close out the year.

“Umtiti is very close,” he said. “He played 60 minutes with Barcelona B and had no discomfort. I don’t know when, but soon he will be on the list. Araujo has been out for a while. He has options to play, but I have to decide when. There are more games coming up.

“We can’t afford to lose more points in La Liga. We have to win every game left in 2020.”

Featured image courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

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