Ronald Koeman had some interesting updates ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
The Dutchman had some good news on Ansu Fati’s new contract, spoke about how it’s a must-win game for the Catalans and also responded to the Dani Alves rumors.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Dynamo Kiev
We won last season against them. Right now Dynamo Kiev are a better team than they were last year. Obviously we know what they can bring. Tomorrow we are playing for our future in the Champions League after losing the first two matches and we know we need to win.
Koeman on if it’s a decisive game
Yes, it is decisive, like I just said. We need to win to have a chance of progressing. There’s no other choice but to win. We know perfectly what we need to do.
Koeman on the Champions League
We can compete yes but we can’t demand they win the Champions League because there are other teams who are ahead of us. We will try to get to that level with our new players and youngsters. We need to get the injured players back, they’ve been out for a good while and still are not back in the best shape, but everything is going in the right direction. We can go out and compete and I think we can get through this group stage.
Koeman on the team’s approach
I think there are very experienced players who will have to set the example to the youngsters. The young players have shown, up against this pressure, they know how to be a Barca player, they have played important matches.
Koeman on how far Barca can go
We need to keep going like we did in the last match. We played a great first half, reduced the rhythm a bit second half, but the team was at a good level and this is the level we demand. When we don’t have the ball we need to be aggressive, press the opposition well. I think there is room for improvement.
Koeman on his starting XI before El Clasico
I do not take into account the name of the rival. The next rival is always the most important. You have to try to get each player to his best level. That is why I said that it was impossible for Ansu to play three whole games in seven days.
Koeman on Coutinho
Philippe has also been out of the picture for a good while so he needs to have match minutes in order to improve physically, get match fitness. We know his qualities, he knows there’s competition for his position, both in midfield and up front. He’s definitely an important player for the coming matches.
Koeman on why UCL is harder than La Liga
Because a lot of other teams have improved a lot. And Barca in the last 4-5 years has decreased its level. I don’t know why. I can only give my opinion from what I’ve seen in the time i’ve been here. There are teams right now that have more balanced squads, with 23 international players and a better economic situation than ours. There’s a lot of reasons.
Koeman on Dani Alves rumors
I don’t know a lot about this situation, whether the club spoke about him, or the possibility, I don’t know. I’d rather not comment.
Koeman on how far Barca can go
I don’t know honestly. It all depends on the circumstances. Also it’s not normal to demand a team gets to the quarters, semis, final. It’s not the right moment to think about this. We need to think about winning the match, we demand we win the match tomorrow, that’s the first step.
Koeman on if Ansu is close to renewing
The only thing I know is what you said. They are close to reaching an agreement. I think that’s very important news. We are talking about a young player with a lot of quality. He is one of those who will mark the future of this club.