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Ronald Koeman took advantage of the break for international matches to review the team's progress in an interview with Sport, L'Esportiu and Mundo Deportivo. The Barça coach highlighted the good work that is being done and the team's improvements. Below are some highlights from the interview.
"Messi has shown me to be an ambitious person, who always wants to win things, who wants to continue being the best."
"Barça has been, is and will be a better team with Messi than without him."
Ansu Fati's injury
"Ansu's injury is a big blow. We will be without a good player on the wing for some time, one who has given some great performances. We must accept it, giving opportunities to other players."
"The player who has surprised me the most is Pedri. I knew that Barça had signed him from Las Palmas and had seen images of how he played, but I don't think anyone expected his improvement and career so far. At 17 years old, he is playing and training with the the best footballers at Barça and should be happy."
"He needs a little more confidence and scoring goals always brings this confidence. You can't say that he doesn't work, he works a lot. A player who is working so hard and trying to change things I think, in the end, will get where he wants."
"He's better physically and has trained hard, doing extra sessions. Dembélé has improved a lot and his quality cannot be argued with. I am very happy with him."
"Things can always be better. With Ramon Planes we always talk about the future, which players we can sign and where we need to strengthen, but knowing the financial situation, I can't ask for much."
"I still trust the 4-2-3-1 or the 4-3-3, but we must not be obsessed."
"Today a system is important, but it must also be highly variable. I think the goal is to look for more variable things from 4-2-3-1."
"In general I am happy. I feel very comfortable with the work we are doing and we are trying to change things about the team, like trying to play with more intensity."
"In many respects we are on the right track. I am not happy about the last games, we have lost quite a few points in the league, but in general we are ok. We are at the beginning and can be better in many aspects."
"Very often my staff and I go to see them in case we need a player, for a game or training. It helps us to get reports on them."
"We lack atmosphere on the pitch and that makes life difficult for the players, when there is no crowd. I miss the fans too."
"I'm in favour of VAR on plays like offside, but I don't like it going into any other action."
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