Laliga season starts for Barcelona tomorrow

Football club Barcelona will play their league opener tomorrow against the yellow submarines, Villarreal, at Camp Nou. This would be the 90th consecutive season for the blaugranas in the topflight of Spanish football, a testament to their outstanding consistency.

The squad which will face the opponents tomorrow has not been announced yet but the new manager, Ronald Koeman, who took the reign of management last month had a press conference earlier today in which he discussed various things. They are as follows:

Koeman: “Villarreal having an advantage since they have already played two games? It could be, yes. But the team is ready to come out strong tomorrow.”

Koeman: “I like to focus on the players we have, there are two more weeks left and there may be incoming as well as outgoing players, but I like to focus on the players we have and Villarreal. We’ll see.”

When asked about Messi

Koeman: “Messi’s anger? It’s normal for him to be upset about the fact a great friend has left, but I have no doubts about Messi. I have seen him train.”

On the Potential Signings of Inter’s striker Lautaro Martinez or Dutch forward Memphis Depay

Koeman: “Lautaro or Depay? Nothing is ruled out, but as I said, I focus on the players who are here. Barça always have to be prepared to strengthen themselves.”

On the departure of club’s number nine Luis Suarez

Koeman: “Suárez? It seemed like I have been the bad guy in this movie and it’s not like that. It was the decision of the club. I respect Suárez a lot and wish him all the best at Atlético Madrid.”

On the booming academy talents

Koeman: “Riqui Puig registered to Barça B? These are also decisions of the club, there are players who will have a first-team number and others who don’t, it’s not true that I don’t count on Riqui because tomorrow he’s in the squad.”

Koeman: “Riqui Puig to play with Barça B when necessary? It’s not only with Riqui Puig. I understand that young players have to play games. If Riqui or Aleñá decide to stay, it’s their decision and they will have opportunities to show me that I can count on them.”

Koeman: “Fati? For me, yes, he’s essential. He’s a great talent. He’s young and has to learn, he’s a player for the future but it’s impressive that at his age he already has the level to play in the first team of Barcelona. It says a lot.”

On the current squad overall

Koeman: “We have very good forwards, but no one can play three games in a row. We have quality to let them all play.”

Koeman: “It’s normal that we have to improve things in defence, we are going to change the system, we are going to press higher, it’s quite a radical change and that costs. We need time.”

Koeman: “Coutinho? First you have to put each player in his best position, he can play as ’10’, or on the left wing with freedom. He also likes to defend and help the team, but I’m interested in him showing his quality close to the goal. Hopefully he will triumph this season.”

Koeman: “We’re looking for players to improve the team. But we must also understand the financial situation of the club. Regardless of possible signings, we will try to achieve everything.”

Koeman: “Ter Stegen is recovering, I still don’t know how long he will be out for, maybe a couple more weeks. I’m very happy with Neto, and the youngsters, who are also showing that they will become great goalkeepers.” Barcelona also announced the shirt numbers for their youth player which has made breakthrough into the first team and the new signings as well.

The players include their academy product Carles Alenya who has got the number 6 shirt to his name. The other two players are the right winger Trincao who has got the number 17 jersey and Pedri who has been given the number 17 jersey.

Riqui Puig will remain registered to the B team for now with Koeman assuring the 21 year old that his chance will come soon.

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