Messi staying at Barca is ‘great’ – Koeman

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Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman admits he is pleased to hear that Lionel Messi is staying with the team for the coming season after the Argentine revealed he’ll see out his contract at the Camp Nou.

Messi tried to force a move away for free last month at the club where he has spent his entire professional career. But the star player has had change of heart as he confirmed he would remain at Barcelona for the coming campaign.

“It’s great, everyone knows he’s the best player in the world, so to have that player in your team is exceptional,” Koeman told the club’s official media channel on Friday as Messi began training with new coach Koeman for the first time on Monday.

“For us it’s now very important to have Leo in the best conditions to play, there’s no question about his quality and it’s fantastic that he’ll be part of the season with Barcelona, everyone is really happy about that.”

The 33-year-old forward is likely to make his first appearance since ending the speculation when Barca play Gimnastic de Tarragona in a friendly on Saturday.

“It’s good to have a friendly, all the players will have 45 minutes to reach the intensity levels we want to see,” added Koeman.

“The score is not the most important thing but we’ve spoken about tactics, what we need to do when we have the ball and how to press the opponent when they have the ball. It’s these tactical details that we’d like to see tomorrow.”

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FARPost Reporter

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