Marcelino: Messi was the most decisive player in the game

The coach hoped he would be below par but had no such luck on his debut at San Mames

| sport

Marcelino Garcia Toral highlighted that “the first 20 minutes” that Athletic Bilbao played against Barcelona was the style that he wanted to implant this season.

“These 20 minutes is what we wanted to be, a quick, agile team with good combinations, looking for goal, direct, and with answers in defence,” said Marcelino.

“I take two positives. These first 20 minutes and the satisfaction of the team working and trying with the score against them. That tells me the boys want it and that the team will improve.”

Marcelino added that one of the aspects that must change is “to be more decisive and accurate in defence”, but his team found a Lionel Messi “who looked like in previous seasons”.

“Before the game it passed through my head that I hoped Messi was not at his top level the day I returned to coaching, but that’s how it was,” said Marcelino. “In some moments we could have done a bit more to stop him, but he was the most decisive player in the game.”

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