The coach visited Leo, listened to his words and explained what he wanted for the Catalan team. “When he sees a ball, he has fun,” said the coach.
The burofax episode is behind us. Lionel Messi said what he had to say and warned that he will fulfill his contract at Barcelona. But what had not been told was how convinced Ronald Koeman a Leo about your project for the team. And it was the Dutch coach himself who made it explicit.
In an interview with the newspaper AD in his country, the Barça coach explained how the whole sequence went with Messi, whom visited at home, until the “10” stayed at the club after the trip of his father Jorge, the meeting with the president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the final interview with the Goal site.
“In my early days, I talked to people a lot about the situation at the club. Then it became clear that there was great discontent among the players, in all sorts of areas. Thus, it was a priority for me to talk to Messi first, to hear how he saw things, “said Koeman.
The Barça coach detailed the conversation he had with the captain at home. “At home he would tell me all kinds of things. I listened to that carefully, but I also indicated: ‘I wasn’t there at all’. I could only talk about how I wanted to work and how I wanted to change things, “he said.
“That was good, because at the end of the conversation we talked about the best ways to push, about the game, really about football. I liked that: he’s a fan and still wants to know how it goes” Koeman stressed.
Despite the difficult scenario that he had to deal with with Messi’s continuity management after the Argentine made clear his desire to leave, Koeman explained that the “10” quickly changed the chip.
“The club was very clear about it: he couldn’t leave. The lump sum (700 million euros) was so high that no club would pay it at this time. So for me, the main question was how would I get him back, on the pitch and beyond, as a person and as a soccer player. When he actually started training again after that hectic week, I only saw good things. His attitude, his attitude: there was nothing to complain about. When Messi sees a ball, he has fun‘, assured the coach.
What is it like to train a footballer like Messi on a day-to-day basis? “It’s really great how he sees things. How smart he is as a soccer player and how he does it technically perfectly. So he really makes a decision with the ball at the last minute, in a split second, “Koeman said.
And he graphed: “When we do a pass and kick exercise during training sessions, Alfred Schreuder (assistant coach) gives the instructions half in Spanish, half in English. Sometimes I clarify a bit in Spanish, but with Messi that is not necessary. not at all. He immediately sees through the exercises. He is, so to speak, very smart in football. “