Koeman grateful for Messi support in transitional season for Barca – football

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is grateful to Lionel Messi for endorsing his appointment and praising his influence though they’re enduring their worst begin to a season in 33 years.

Messi mentioned a younger group had been rising below the Dutchman as they bid to enhance on their present fifth place in La Liga, eight factors behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

“I’m not sure if it makes me more calm but I’m grateful because he’s a very important player to this club and in the world of football, so anyone would be happy for him to speak well about them,” Koeman instructed a information convention on Monday.

“But I feel the same way, I’m trying to get the team to move forward. It’s a transitional year with lots of changes but he’s still a very important part of this team and if he can help us improve more for the rest of this season we can be happy.”

Messi, who’s heading into the ultimate six months of his contract with Barca, will miss Tuesday’s house sport towards Eibar as a consequence of an ankle damage however ought to be match to face Huesca on Jan. 3.

French winger Ousmane Dembele is ready to return to the group towards Eibar after recovering from a hamstring damage.

Eibar are hovering above the relegation zone however gave champions Real Madrid good sport this month earlier than dropping 3-1.

“They are a very competitive team, who always try to press their opponents high up the pitch,” Koeman mentioned.

“We will have to play well and make the most of the space when they press us. If we’re not on top form, it’ll be a tough game.”

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