Ronald Koeman: 'I want to remain Barça coach for many years'

Ronald Koeman: 'I want to remain Barça coach for many years'

The Barça coach analyses the current state of play at the club during interviews with the SPORT, Mundo Deportivo and L'Esportiu newspapers

The FC Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman, has given interviews to Catalonia’s leading sports newspapers: SPORT, Mundo Deportivo and L'Esportiu. He discussed the situation at the Club and his experiences since arriving at Barça over a year ago.

The Dutch coach went into current issues and showed his enthusiasm about signing a new contract and "continuing as Barça coach for many years". Koeman defined himself as "a Club man who always wants to help the institution and look for ways to improve the team while keeping the Club on a good footing" and he reminded that "the immediate future looks excellent". "I hope to be able to train our young players over the next three, four, or five years", he said.

'With a full squad available, we can really make our mark, we have a good team'

Ronald Koeman

Koeman also showed his ambition and enthusiasm for this season: "Winning titles always has to be the aim. Many players are out injured: Ansu, Coutinho, Dembélé, Agüero... but they will add quality on their return. With a full squad available, we can really make our mark, we have a good team".

The Barça coach spoke on a range of topics and about those currently featuring in news about the club. Here are a few more details:

On Leo Messi's exit

"It hit me hard. It really did. Like any other Culer I suppose. The season had been planned with him in the team. Logically, I followed both the fair-play concept and the negotiations very closely, but as a fan of the player he is, I hoped he would end his career here. It didn’t end well from any angle. A symbol of this Club left as well as Messi himself".

On the current situation

"Despite losing the world’s best player in Leo Messi, players being out with injuries, or the financial issues, you simply have to get on with it. I turn it into a challenge, which motivates me even more. Ultimately, the passion and love I feel for Barça and my work is what counts. The balance is positive".

On President Laporta's support

"I heard what he said and I thought it was great. Something isn’t going right when the Club is unsure about the coach, as it makes the coach look weaker or lacking support. I consider myself a very mentally strong coach. I have no concerns about the future, I am very relaxed in that respect. All the same, I appreciate the public support from [President] Laporta on Monday, because many people had their doubts before that. I think everything is very clear now".

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On Luuk de Jong's arrival

"I was always surprised that Barça didn’t have a player like Luuk in the squad. He offers different options to our other attackers. He is more of a target man, works really well upfront, and is a potential game changer”.

"I have been in touch with him since early August. I wanted a different type of forward and I thought of him because I know him very well. I am very happy that he has joined us".

On Memphis's adaptation

"I have no doubt that Memphis will leave an impression during his time here. He has the essential qualities to be successful at Barça: personality and character. I worked with him for two years when in charge of the [Dutch] national team. He has brought a lot of energy and has already shown that he has the quality to play for this team".

'I have no doubt that Memphis will leave an impression during his time here. He has the essential qualities to be successful at Barça: personality and character'

Ronald Koeman

On Ansu Fati

"Wearing the 10 shirt cannot be taken lightly. Someone had to step up to the plate and I think the Club did the right thing to give it to Ansu. He is home-grown and really talented. I want to see him fully fit and scoring goals out on the pitch while wearing the 10 shirt. I have a lot of faith in him, I know him very well, and I know what he can bring to the table".

On Cruyffism

"I am a big fan of Cruyffism, I am very much in favour of that style, but some games require a dose of realism. Cruyff always attempted to control the game, as I like to do. As he said, having the ball is better than running after it. However, we also have to consider that we won many points using the three at the back system last season. You have to adapt when you want to play with wide players but don’t have any. Of course, our aim always is to attack, press high up the field, keep possession of the ball... I am a proponent of all those concepts".

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