Koeman delighted with Messi's first minutes

Tanya Simon
September 14, 2020

The La Liga club beat Gimnastic de Tarragona 3-1 in a pre-season friendly on Saturday and Koeman deployed his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.

Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho, who was also returning after his loan spell at Bayern Munich, then each scored penalties, either side of Javier Bonilla pulling one back for the visitors.

The 33-year-old has been in discussions with Juventus over a move, but the negotiations have slowed down in recent days.

"For us, it's now very important to have Leo in the best conditions to play".

Despite his transfer saga with Koeman, Suarez has carried on training with the team, with the forward keen on remaining professional until the last minute of being a Barcelona player.

Barca play Girona next Wednesday in another friendly and are in talks to face Elche in a final pre-season match before beginning their campaign at home to Villarreal on September 27.

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"Schools and shopping malls will be closed but supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open", the news organization added. Large-scale demonstrations have been held every weekend to protest Netanyahu's measures to curb infections.

New Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has admitted that his side will be more defensive this season.

"The most important thing today is that fortunately there were no injuries and everyone was able to play 45 minutes".

"What we want to do right now is focus on our fitness and then over the next two weeks focus on more tactical questions". There were moments of good intensity.

Lionel Messi wore the captain's armband in his first match since he opted to abandon his plans to leave Barca, although Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal were left out of the squad as the club is still trying to offload both players. We only have four weeks, not six.

Barcelona went into meltdown when Messi announced he had made up his mind to leave following a hugely disappointing end to last season.

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