Barcelona have a very important match against Atletico Madrid tonight. They will be desperate to close the gap between themselves and the Rojiblancos but it will be no easy task. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 21 November 2020.
Koeman talks about Frenkie De Jong, Coutinho and Messi
Frenkie De Jong
Barcelona manager was quizzed about a lot of things ahead of the Catalans’ clash with Atletico Madrid. Koeman insists that midfielder Frenkie De Jong is improving. He said,
For me he’s an important player. He’s had his first season here, he’s improved a lot and he can improve more. Also we don’t have many more midfielders that can play in that pivot position. Of course we have to think and find a moment when we can give him a rest but these are important matches. We’ll try to find an opportunity for him to rest.
He also seemed happy about Philippe Coutinho’s form and return. Koeman also stressed on the fact that Coutinho is not a winger and suggested that he has been played out of position at the Camp Nou.
We are happy that Philippe is back. He’s training well, without problems. He’s had almost a week now with the group training. He could start or come off the bench, knowing the matches we have ahead of us we must find the best way to use him.Philippe can play in various positions. I think he’s not a winger, so if he plays on the wing he will have opportunities to come inside. He can play as a offensive midfielder, he’s a great player for a coach because he can play different positions.
Koeman was also asked the inevitable question on Leo Messi’s future after his recent statement where he said that he is tired of being viewed as the ‘problem at Barcelona’. And his response was,
Messi still has a contract. I hope his future is with Barca and for me it has to be here. But I’m not the person who has to try to keep him. No one knows what will happen.First of all I need to defend Leo because if something like that happened to me after a 15 hour trip and then you have to wait an hour and then you go outside and there’s lost of press asking those types of questions. I will be dangerous too. And the rest? I hope he stays at Barcelona. I think it’s unbelievable what he’s done for this club.
Pep Guardiola urges Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona
Former Barcelona player and manager Pep Guardiola has offered his opinion on Lionel Messi’s future. Pep Guardiola currently manages Manchester City who are the only side that has so far been linked with Messi after the Argentine threatened to leave Barcelona this summer.
However, Pep Guardiola has said that he wants Messi to stay where he is. According to ESPN,
“Lionel Messi is a player from Barcelona. If you ask me my opinion as a person, I have a huge gratitude for what Barcelona has done for me. In the academy as a football player and after as a manager it gave me absolutely everything.“What I want is[for him] to finish his career there. I would love it, I would wish it. That is what I said I don’t know how many times maybe a thousand times.“I would like as a Barcelona fan for Leo to finish there. But he finishes this year the contract and I don’t know what’s going to happen in his mind. Right now he is a Barcelona player and the transfer market will be in June and July.”
Pep Guardiola: “Messi is a player for Barcelona. If you ask me my opinion, I have huge gratitude for what Barcelona have done for me. I want him [Leo] to finish his career there [at Barcelona]” #Transfers 🇦🇷🔵
— Hagrid ✆ (@HagridFCB) November 20, 2020
Ansu Fati wins second place in 2020 Golden Boy Award
Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati has finished second in the 2020 Golden Boy Award. Erling Haaland has won the award for his prolific season with RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund last season.
Bayern Munich youngster Alphonso Davies finished third and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho is at fourth on the list.