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Ronald Koeman talks Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andrea Pirlo ahead of UCL clash

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

RC Celta v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman spoke to the press on Tuesday ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League group match against Juventus.

The Barca boss spoke about Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo, the defeat to Real Madrid and his approach for tomorrow’s big game in Turin.

Here are the best bits:

Koeman on Juventus

Firstly this is not a decisive match but it’s a match between two great teams that want to get as far as they can in this championship. It’s important to get a good result and what’s more play the sort of football we want to play. We have a lot of respect for the opposition so it’s a top level match.

Juve are one of the biggest teams in Europe with a lot of players with a lot of experience. even though they have absentees in defence they know how to dominate midfield and up front they have quality players.

Koeman on Ronaldo

I think for everyone it’s an important match and a nice one to watch. You always want the best players ont he pitch. Ronaldo is a great player. I don’t know if he’s in a condition to play after the coronavirus, that’s not my problem or my decision but I hope he’s there. As a player we respect him a lot and if he’s there we’ll be well prepared.

Koeman on El Clasico

Firstly when I was talking with Barca about being a coach I knew that it would not be an easy challenge because of the changes we wanted to make and because of Covid I think the challenge is that big … I ask everyone to keep calm and give it time because we are changing a lot of things. In the match against Real Madrid we were really good for 60 minutes. I respect the opinions we got worse. But for the hour we had plenty of opportunities. I saw a team with great ambition.

Koeman on Andrea Pirlo

It is easier to think of him as a player. He has given many successes to various teams here in Italy. And as a coach I cannot have an opinion. He has not been here for a long time, but if he’s been given the opportunity to lead a team as big as Juventus it is because of some reason. It takes time to implement a different style, with new players. Hopefully he will succeed as Juventus’ coach.

Koeman on replacing Coutinho

Like I’ve said several times we have several players with different characteristics. I normally go with players who are well trained, very ready. I’m also thinking about tactics. We need to have a look match by match. You have to play the best team that you can.

Koeman on Barca’s UCl away record

I’m the sort of coach that works hard and wants my team to win matches. We can’t play all the players up front and not think about defending. We are facing a great team with a lot of good players. We need to find the balance between attack and defence.