Koeman's paradox

Ronald Koeman will meet again tomorrow with Leo Messi. The first time they met, the Argentine told him that he did not see himself at Barça.


Ronald Koeman is presented with a greater challenge than he expected when he signed for Barcelona. The Dutch coach arrived at the club where he made history as a player after a regrettable year for the entity that culminated in Bayern's beating in Lisbon, ready to "make decisions" and change the face of the squad.

For that challenge the Dutchman made it very clear from the beginning that he had Leo Messi as one of his main props. He said it on the day of his presentation where he also stated: "I don't want anyone who doesn't want to be at Barça."

In other words, a paradox opens up for Koeman. Although he loves Messi, his challenge now is to excite a player who has made it clear that he is only still at the club because he could only leave either by paying the 700 million clause or by going to trial.

Koeman has the advantage that Messi is an ultra-competitive athlete and that he has assured that he will give everything to achieve success, but the reality is that the Dutchman did not have to wait for the goal.com interview to know that Messi loved himself go. The player himself said it to his face when they met the day after the new coach's introduction.

In that meeting Messi already told Koeman that he looked "more outside than inside" and made it very clear that there were very few options to continue at the club. So Koeman began to imagine a season without the 10.

It is not an insignificant detail that Messi tells Koeman that he did not want to continue in the team once he had heard the words that the Dutchman dedicated to him on the day of his presentation.

"I don't know if I have to convince Messi. I don't know if it's yes or no. Messi is the best player in the world and you want to have him in your team, not the other way around. For my part, as a coach, I love working with Messi. Because he wins you games. And if you get the performance he has shown, he will be very happy if he wants to stay. But he is a Barça player and has a contract. You have to talk to him, of course, he is the captain. You have to make decisions but hopefully Messi will be here for more years "were the words of the coach on the day of his presentation about the Argentine, who was the only member of the squad that he specifically analyzed.

Therefore, following the words of the Dutchman, he was "very happy if he wants to stay". The next day Leo confessed that he did not want to stay and then the other great headline that Koeman left in his presentation necessarily comes to mind: "I only want to work with people who want to be here. If they don't want to be here ... I want to work with people who want to do their best for Barcelona. And nothing else ".

A Koeman has a task ahead of him on which his success as a Blaugrana coach will largely depend. The figure of Bartomeu as a mediator between the coach and the team's star is ruled out because Messi has made it very clear that his relationship with him is broken. On the part of the president, it is not that he is delighted with Messi's words either. So the Dutchman stands out as a key piece in the team's gear as the only interlocutor with the, for now, captain.

The Dutchman has to show Leo that he is not just another patch in the catastrophic sports policy that the club has carried out in the last year, that he has a project and that he is important to it.

In favor of Koeman plays the recognized competitiveness of Messi and that the Argentine recognized that "there is a new coach and a new idea. That is good, but then we have to see how the team responds and if it gives us or not" .

Photos from as.com
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