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Koeman talks Super League, Gerard Pique and Copa del Rey substitutes

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Final Photo by Jose Luis Contreras/DAX Images/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ronald Koeman faced the press on Wednesday to discuss Barcelona’s next game against Getafe tomorrow in La Liga at the Camp Nou.

Unsurprisingly, the Dutchman had to field plenty of questions about the European Super League but didn’t really want to discuss the topic.

Koeman did talk about Getafe, Gerard Pique’s fitness, Barca’s title hopes and just why he had two goalkeepers on the bench for the Copa del Rey final.

Here are the best bits:

Koeman on Getafe

We know there are eight matchdays left and we are going match by match. We enjoyed the Copa del Rey final very much especially the way we achieved it. We’ve said we need to focus now on La Liga. We have a tough match at home so we need to be in good shape, impose our game, use our effectiveness and win the match.

Koeman on Super League

I spoke with the president yesterday and he explained the club’s position. But a lot has changed since. It’s best not to say much now, no one knows what will happen.

Koeman on if he likes the Super League

I’m not going to answer any more questions about the Super League.

Koeman on Super League part II

I’m not the club’s spokesperson, that is the president. It is normal that you ask me about this, but there is so much going on that it is better to wait and see how it ends up.

Koeman on Super League part III

The president called me yesterday and explained the matter to me. I don’t know if they asked the players. I’m not interested, we’ll play a game tomorrow.

Koeman on winning La Liga

I think the image of the team the other day in the final was really good. On top of that there’s been a great attitude, the result was great. I don’t think that’s just one match, I think we have been improving for a while. Being the coach at a big club like this depends on the things you win. So we are trying to play the best games we can and make changes with the youngsters when we can and that’s important.

Koeman on if Barca are more relaxed after Copa del Rey win

When you are a Barça player you always want more, winning the Copa del Rey can give us a little peace of mind, but that doesn’t mean that we reduce our work or our energy. We want to fight to win La Liga, but it won’t be easy.

Koeman on if Super League will be a distraction

No, I don’t agree with that because the players are professionals and they want to play, they want to win titles. I have no doubt my players will be fine for tomorrow.

Koeman on leaving Riqui, Pjanic, Junior out of Copa del Rey final

There were decisions I don’t like either because we had to leave four players out. The press was surprised that we had three goalkeepers, but for me that’s very normal because we’ve done it in all the Copa del Rey matches. I’ll give you an example. If in the warm-up Ter Stegen is injured, I have to put a second goalkeeper on. If the second one receives a red card then I’d have to put an outfield player in goal. For me that’s too much risk. I’ve still got seven more outfield players on the bench that can go on and for me that’s enough. I won’t take any risk at any moment that I have to put an outfield player in the goal. I hope you understand.

Koeman on signing Memphis Depay

I don’t talk about signings, I don’t talk about players we want to sign or that we can’t sign or that we don’t want to keep in the squad. It’s a case of focusing on the eight matches we have left. This is not the week for talking about players not in the squad.

Koeman on pressure to win La Liga

Pressure always exists at Barca. We have to play well, win, keep fighting. We were quite a long way away but we have been able to recover and now it’s the moment to keep fighting. We need to show we can win the league championship.

Koeman on how the players are looking

The team has come back very upbeat. They have been able to rest for two days and physically the team is very strong. That is why we have won many games. It is not necessary to train a lot at the moment, the team’s physical data is impressive. We know we have a difficult schedule, but if we achieve our level we can hope for a lot of things.

Koeman on Super League part IV

I don’t want to talk about this much because there’s so many changes. We have to wait to see what could happen. I agree with Pique’s tweet

Koeman on Pique fitness

It’s normal that Gerard is quite tired after the match, that’s very normal after a player is out for a while. He needs to get back into match rhythm. I thought he was phenomenal. Yesterday he was still a bit tired, today he’s a bit better, tomorrow we’ll see if he’s ready.

Koeman on the future of football

I agree with what Pep said about the number of games, it’s unbelievable the amount of games we’ve played. Everyone is talking about the Super League, the Champions ... but UEFA is not paying attention to the players on the number of games. Most important for them is money. In La Liga the time of games too, tomorrow we will play at 10.00 pm. It’s normal to think about the future of football but first you have to protect the players.