BARCELONA 4- REAL SOCIEDAD 2

Koeman: "I don't know if we were more of a team without Messi"

Ronald Koeman was extremely happy with his side's performance in the wake of Messi's exit, praising Braithwaite, Piqué and the Camp Nou support.

0
Koeman: "I don't know if we were more of a team without Messi"
Alex Caparros Getty Images

Ronald Koeman oversaw a 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad to get Barcelona's season off to a positive start after the departure of Leo Messi to PSG and reserved special praise for Martin Braithwaite, who scored twice and assisted another, Gerard Piqué and the support of the fans inside Camp Nou. 

Camp Nou support: “It's something to be enjoyed, despite the fact there were only 20,000 people it seemed like a lot more. They helped us from the first minute and they pushed us. It's another world. We liked a lot of things. We need to be strong at home, we need the support of our fans. It's important to start the Liga season with a win and if we did that giving off a good image of ourselves, even better."

Barça control: "It was a fantastic game in every sense, and with fans in the stadium, the team putting in a good performance, it's the path we want to follow. I was particularly pleased with the opening half hour, which was excellent in terms of how we played with the ball and how we recovered possession when we didn't have it, we reacted quickly. Everybody pressed really well. I think it was the best Barcelona for a long time. The two goals in the first half were crucial and in the second half we controlled the game." 

Oyarzabal goal: "You can't do anything other than applaud the free kick. That goal made life difficult for us but in the end we got the job done."

Braithwaite: "He is an example of how a professional should be. And he's improved his game in many aspects. He gives us so many things, he is fast in attack and he is very difficult to defend against. I love players like him."

Piqué: "He is one of our leaders. The problem last year is that he didn't play many games because of his injury. His leadership as a veteran is an example for everyone."

Messi: "I don't know if we were more of a team without Leo, maybe our play was more collective but I would still prefer to have Messi in my team."