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Koeman talks Messi, Araujo & Barcelona form ahead of Spanish Super Cup

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

SD Huesca v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman and his Barcelona squad are in Cordoba for tomorrow’s Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Real Sociedad.

The Barcelona boss faced the press before the match to talk about the game, his team’s improving form, the fitness of some key players and Wednesday’s opponents.

Here are the best bits:

Koeman on Real Sociedad

We know they are a good team, they want to come and play and bring the pressure. Their manager has clear ideas. It was a good match we played with them recently, the first 45 minutes was great for us. The second half was tough as they reacted well. I think with the mentality of the two teams it’s going to be a very interesting match.

Koeman on the Super Cup

Teams in these semi-finals have the mentality and drive to do as much as possible to win the title. All four teams have a chance and we want to continue the image we’ve been putting up recently. We’ve improved, the team is growing in all aspects, and it’s another chance for us to show we’re on the right path.

Koeman on Messi fitness

There were several players that had some discomfort the other day. That’s why we took Messi off, we took Frenkie and Dest off as well. It seems all of them are going to be available tomorrow. Also Araujo, we have the training session this afternoon as well to see if they are all fit to play tomorrow.

Koeman on how Barca can continue to improve

Be as clinical as we were the other day, that doesn’t always happen. I think the team is better from an attacking standpoint. We have more midfielders getting forwards and we are bringing players forward who have the ability to cause a lot of damage. The team is working well and it’s a burst of confidence for us and it’s shown in the last few games.

Koeman on elections

The important thing is to have everything in order, including the president. We are at a time in a world with Covid and you would have to accept if it does have to be delayed because health is the most important thing. We have to do the maximum to get back to living in a normal world.

Koeman on the Spanish Super Cup

For us it’s important, Barcelona is used to fighting to win titles. It’s not the most important trophy, there is La Liga, the Champions League, the Copa del Rey, but we are here to play the semi-finals and our mentality is to give the maximum. We will play with the best team we have to try to get through to the final. That’s the first step we must take tomorrow.

Koeman on Araujo

He had an individual workout yesterday and we’ll see if he’s OK to train this afternoon. In principle he’ll be with the group but we’ll have to see how he does train today. I’m confident he will be available tomorrow, but we still have one training session to be sure that the player is 100 per cent.

Koeman on Barcelona being favorites?

No I don’t think so. It doesn’t just depend on how a team is playing when they come into the semi-finals. Real Sociedad started off well, they had a little bit of a drop off but they are amongst the best teams and they have a chance as well. We’ve picked up maximum points recently, but all four teams are strong and I don’t think there is a favorite to win this title.

Koeman on possible Clasico final bringing extra-motivation?

I don’t really believe in talking about the final before we’ve even played the semi-final. We have to win and then see what happens in the other game. First we have to work hard, we have to play, we have to play well, I hope we win. I think we have to play a very good game to beat Real Sociedad.

Koeman on possibility of rotating goalkeepers

It depends on the players and how they feel. I don’t think we necessarily have to make changes. I think we have to put the best players on the field and see if everyone is available.