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Koeman comments on Messi’s “difficulty in handling”

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Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman confirmed that he does not face “difficulties in dealing” with Lionel Messi, responding to a question during a press conference, Tuesday, about the difficulties his predecessor Quique Setien faced with the Argentine star.

“Leo is a solid player. He is the best player in the world for me, and I can see in him the ambition and the personality of the winner daily,” Koeman told reporters on the eve of his team’s match with its guest, Dynamo Kyiv, in the UEFA Champions League.

“He (Messi) is not a player that I found difficult to deal with, but every coach is different,” added the Dutchman, who was appointed on 19 August after ousting Setien.

“For me, he’s the captain, and I talk to him every week about matters related to the stadium and the dressing room,” Koeman was quoted by AFP as saying.

Koeman responded to a question about Setien’s comments about the “flea” during a debate with the Spanish national team’s former coach, Vicente Del Bosque.

“There are indeed players who are not easy to deal with, including Leo, that is true,” said Setien, but at the same time praised the Argentine, saying, “We also have to take into account that he is the best footballer of all time. Who am I to change him?”

On Tuesday, Koeman declined to disclose whether he would rest Messi on Wednesday, in the third round of the group stage in the Champions League, against Dynamo Kyiv, which is burdened with the absence of ten players, nine due to their infection with the new Coronavirus.

“We are waiting for an opponent who will complicate things for us on the field, and we will have to work to win this match at home. We have already seen that Shakhtar (Donetsk of Ukraine) beat Real Madrid despite some absences in his ranks,” the Barcelona coach said.

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