Koeman defends Messi against former coach

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was asked about his predecessor Quique Setien’s comments about Lionel Messi in a press conference on Tuesday. 

Ex-Barça boss Setien said in an interview over the weekend that he had found Messi “difficult to manage,” an opinion Koeman says he categorically does not share. 

“I respect his opinion for me Leo is a really good player, for me the best in the world,” Koeman said. “Every day I see his ambition, his winning character. For me, he’s not a player I have difficulties with. Every coach is different.

“For me, he’s the captain and I speak with him every week about things on the pitch, things in the dressing room, to have a good relationship with him. I am not in agreement with Setien but respect his opinion. If that’s what he says, that’s how it is for him.” 

Messi has scored three times for Barça under Koeman although all of them from the penalty spot. He’s without a goal from open play but will look to change that against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League on Wednesday.