Koeman: "Despite Messi's departure, we are optimistic"

Koeman: "Despite Messi's departure, we are optimistic"

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Barça's head coach addressed the crowd ahead of this evening's 'Gamper' against Juventus

Barça head coach Ronald Koeman has addressed the crowd ahead of tonight's Joan Gamper Trophy, stating that he is "optimistic about the season ahead" despite the departure of the Argentina captain.

"Despite Leo Messi's departure, we are very optimistic about the season ahead. We are very pleased with the squad we have, the signings we have made and the young players who are making the step up, who will always form part of the future of this great club".

When Koeman spoke about the outgoing club legend, the 3,000 fans in attendance sang his name with adoration. However, the names of several players - such as Umtiti and Pjanic - were booed by some pockets of supporters during the official squad presentation.

He spoke of his delight at having fans back in the ground after a year that has been "difficult for everyone", before touching on his hopes for the season ahead.

"We are sure that we will make you very happy this season. With effort, sacrifice and hard work, we will try to do our very best [for the fans]. We know what it means to support and represent this club. Visca el Barça y visca Catalunya", he finished.

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