The last 48 hours have been extremely chaotic for football fans, to say the very least. What started off with potentially the formation of a new European league has since turned into a heap of dust. Of the 12 teams that claimed to be founders of the competition, only Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus, and Barcelona are yet to decide a stance.
That said, the mood has to be shifted as Barcelona get ready to take on Getafe on Thursday night. The Madrid outfit held Real Madrid to a goalless draw, giving Atletico Madrid and Barcelona space in the title race. Ronald Koeman talked about the same in his pre-game presser.
“There are eight games left, we are going game by game. We really enjoyed the Copa del Rey final, winning and doing it the way we did. Now we have to concentrate again. Tomorrow’s game against Getafe will be complicated,” said Koeman.
He was inquired about his thoughts regarding the Copa del Rey, and in reply, he said, “The image of the team in the Copa del Rey final was really good. We have been improving things for a while and the atmosphere is very good.”
“When you are a Barça player you always want more, winning the Copa del Rey can give us a little peace of mind, but that doesn’t mean that we reduce our work or our energy. We want to fight to win La Liga, but it won’t be easy,” Koeman continued.
There were a lot of questions raised over his decision to leave Riqui Puig, Junior Firpo, and Miralem Pjanic out of the squad in the Copa del Rey final. Koeman defended himself, saying, “Leaving Pjanić, Puig and Junior out to have two goalkeepers on the bench? If in the warm-up, Ter Stegen gets injured, I have to put in the second goalkeeper in. If the second goalkeeper gets a red card, I don’t have another goalkeeper. For me it’s too much of a risk.”
The reporters in the room could not help but ask Koeman about Memphis Depay, who has been in the news all over again: Depay? I’m not talking about signings. We only focus on games and not on players who aren’t here.”
He moved on to the pressures at Barcelona on the players and coaches to win trophies: “The pressure always exists at Barça, you have to win, play well and fight for the titles. We’ve recovered almost all the points that separated us from the league leaders, now it’s the time to show that we can win this league.”
Continuing to speak about Pique, Koeman said, “Piqué was quite tired after the game he played, which is normal after having been out for so long. I think he was phenomenal in the final. I think we can still improve his physical condition.”