Barcelona (AP) – World footballer Lionel Messi has made no secret of his anger over his club management at FC Barcelona, but according to the words of new coach Ronald Koeman, he is training with full force.
Messi, whose move to move had failed over the summer, had made bitter allegations on Instagram at the club’s management led by President Josep Maria Bartomeu over the transfer of his colleague and friend Luis Suárez to Atlético Madrid.
Koeman said Saturday, prior to his team’s first game of the new season against Villareal (Sunday, 9pm): “It is normal for him (Messi) to feel sad when a friend leaves the club. They have spent years together, but the most important thing is how he trains and plays. He’s exemplary. It took him away but he came back with a lot of enthusiasm. And he’ll prove it in the next few games.
At the same time, Koeman rejected reports that the sale of Suárez to Atlético Madrid for up to six million euros in performance bonuses was solely due to his decision. “It looks like I’m the bad guy in the movie, but I’m not,” he told reporters. It was not only his decision, but also the club’s. “There are also young people here with opportunities, that is football,” emphasized Koeman. “Luis and I respect each other. He had the chance to leave and I wish him the best of luck”, the Dutchman added.
In addition to Suárez, Barça also sold the other two top players Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal in the summer. On the one hand, the club wants to rejuvenate, on the other hand, the club must save costs because of the corona crisis.