Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman says that he has a good relationship with Lionel Messi and begs to differ with Quique Setien’s assessment that the Argentine is difficult to manage.
Quique Setien who was sacked in August revealed in an interview with El Pais on Sunday that it was difficult to coach Messi due to how much success he has enjoyed in his footballing career.
“I respect everyone’s option but, for me, Leo is the best player in the world,” Koeman said in a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s UCL game against Dynamo Kiev.
“I see the ambition he has and his winning character every day. He’s not a player I have difficulties with. He’s the captain and I speak with him every week about things on the pitch and things in the dressing room to [maintain] a good relationship with him.
“I see things differently and I am not in agreement with Setien, although I respect his opinion. If that’s what he says, that’s how it is for him.”
Lionel Messi has found the back of the net 3 times in 8 games this season and all have been penalties. He is yet to score in 5 La Liga games.
His form and Barca’s lack of ruthlessness in the forward positions have seen then amass just 2 points from their last 4 games and Koeman says he accepts the criticisms that come with the results although he feels the performances have been positive.
Koeman went on to advise the club to acquire a new striker in January and reports are rife that the Catalans have upped their interest in Benfica’s Darwin Nunez.
“I have said various times that we need a No. 9 but it depends on the club’s financial position in January,” Koeman said.
“We have to wait. I don’t want to force it because I came here knowing the financial situation. If it’s not possible, it’s not possible, we will keep working with what we have got.”