Koeman: "Griezmann is a great player"
Ronald Koeman discussed his side's upcoming league match against Cádiz, Messi's future, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé's return to form.
Speaking ahead of Barcelona's trip to Cádiz on Saturday, head coach Ronald Koeman discussed the club's affairs ahead of a crucial league game after his team's 3-0 midweek win in Hungary.
Trip to Cádiz
Cádiz seem to have a hard time earning points at home, but they're doing well, and they're a tricky opponent. We have to be focused.
Do you see Messi wanting to stay?
We know Leo's situation. There's only one person who can decide his future and that is Leo. I'm not interested in comments from the outside, but rather those from inside the club. We can't control the outsiders, but from the inside it's different.
Neymar said that he would like to play with Messi. Do you see them closer to Paris or Barcelona?
Messi and Neymar together in Paris or in Barcelona? As a club we have to try to have the best players here.
Would you like to train Messi and Neymar together?
I don't like to speak individually. What I'm saying is that as a culé, as a player and coach, I want to have the best players in the world.
Are Atlético Madrid the favourites for LaLiga?
At the moment, I think Atlético Madrid are a strong team, and they concede very few goals. But it's a long season in which anything can happen.
Will Araújo's return mean that Mingueza is going to play less?
Araújo has been out for a while, he will have opportunities to play, but I have to decide when. There are more games coming up.
Will you request the signing of Eric Garcia or could you propose another name?
It is still too early to talk about these signings. We are going to have Araújo back now. Umtiti is very close. And in January we will have to speak with a new president.
To what extent has Braithwaite improved the team?
Braithwaite always tries to stretch the pitch, he has depth, and he's helping the team because the others, from behind, take advantage of the space he generates thanks to his work. On top of that, he's effective within the box.
Can you give details about Umtiti?
Umtiti is very close to a return, he played 60 minutes with Barça B, and had no discomfort. I don't know when, but he will be in the squad soon.
Tusquets' opinion about Messi is not for me to talk about, Leo has a contract and we want him here. The only thing I will say is that we have reached an agreement and I do not know more about the figures or what problems there are. My problem is preparing the team, winning and playing well. I'm not very worried. We know that it is a complicated situation, but for all clubs.
What has caused a change in Dembélé?
The first thing that has changed is that he has improved physically. In order for a player to perform well, he must be in good shape. Little by little, he is gaining confidence. I'm satisfied with his performances.
Would you like to see fans back in stadiums?
Every country wants the fans to return, but each country has to look at it in terms of health. We are not doctors, but hopefully we will have spectators again soon. Having said that, we shouldn't force it because health is the most important thing.
Griezmann is a great player, and he can play in various positions, as a 9, on the right side or inside. He doesn't have to depend on the rest of the strikers, but on himself, on his mentality. He has tried to change things and has been playing better in recent games. Good players always give what is expected of them.
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