BARCELONA – Ronald Koeman upholds his philosophy of ‘match by match’ in the final stretch of the League and understood “very important” to win at Villarreal this Sunday to keep Barcelona’s chances of being champion intact.
“We know that we have seven games to go and for us, as for the other three teams above, it is very important to win because if you do not win you will have fewer options to win the League, that is very clear,” revealed the Dutch coach, who, despite Of the rival’s difficulty, he rejected that this was the most complicated duel for his team.
“Each game has its difficulties, but a lot depends on ourselves. If we show the energy of other games we will have more possibilities but it is already known that there are many difficulties for all teams because at this point there are few who do not play anything,” he said , showing indifference between playing before or after their rivals, Atlético de Madrid above all else.
“I don’t know if it’s better to play first or after the others. Until the last match, or the last two, which is played all the games at the same time, I don’t care so much because you know you have to win because if they win you already have that pressure ”, he revealed, admitting that the advantage of still having a vital game face to face with another candidate in a career in which he does not want to contemplate favoritism.
“I don’t see a team stronger than another … Atlético, Madrid and Sevilla are winning a lot of games and perhaps the advantage is that we have a game with Atlético and we can beat them, like they did us. last day ”, he declared, repeating that“ we will have to get a lot of points, I don’t know how many, but fail very few to be champion ”.
“It’s been a long time since the Camp Nou game,” Koeman clarified when asked about Villarreal’s 4-0 in the first round, which he presented as a team that plays “football very well, with top-quality players. and that he has already shown that he is very strong. “
“I am not worried about the load of minutes of the players because they recover well, we train little and we do the maximum recovery before the games,” he clarified when asked if he was worried about the load of the calendar but did not miss the opportunity to stress that “we play many games late and it is something that I have already said several times but we have to accept because despite my criticism I have not seen any change”.
Confirming that Ousmane Dembélé has options to start playing “because any player on the list can do it,” Koeman revealed that the Frenchman “is a different player, one of the most unbalanced. He can dribble and arrive with both legs. It is important and he has given us a lot this season “, although he was much less optimistic with the recoveries of Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho.
“Both of them have been injured for longer than we expected and I cannot say if they will be able to play a game this season,” he agreed dryly.
Regarding UEFA’s threats due to the Super League issue and the influence that a suspension of the club could have on Messi’s renewal or the transfer market, the Barça coach was cautious, but of course: “I don’t think things will change because of this about the Super League. We have already talked a lot about that issue and now there are more important things to think about in UEFA, the threats of sanctions and other things. We are pending on our calendar now, “he said.
And, finally, he repeated that in the first person he continues to see “the same confidence” on the part of the president. “He has shown me and confidence and support from the first day and as long as I do not say otherwise I continue to think so. In principle I see myself as a coach next season. Also, I have a contract and if not, we have to talk,” he closed.