Speaking in an interview with Dutch media outlet NOS, new Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman discussed several players ahead of his first season in charge at Camp Nou.
On Lionel Messi
Messi still has another year of his contract left. Of course, he is disappointed, I would be too if I lost 8-2. If he wouldn’t be in this emotional state, then it would be worrying. Messi is a pure winner. I am very close to Pep Guardiola and I am still in contact with him now. Pep told me that Messi wants to win, he wants to win everything. And if he doesn’t win, he can get very annoyed. I am really looking forward to working with him. I have to make sure that Messi will be able to function well in this team, and that he feels important. He is the captain of this club. He has to finish his career here. Messi is Barcelona and Barcelona is Messi.
On new assistant coach Albert Schreuder
Schreuder? I know him a little. I know how much influence he had in the 2018/19 season with Ajax and the players are extremely positive about him. He was Julian Nagelsmann’s assistant too, he is full of ideas. The role that he needs to fulfill is perfect for him.
On Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie? I will play him in the same position as with Holland. I went to see a Barça game and saw him playing in another position and thought: “I would never do this”. You invest so much in a player, you spend so much money, and you play him in a different position.
On Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann is not a winger. He has to play in a position where he is used to playing, and that fits his qualities. As a coach, it all starts with playing your players in the right position.