Ronald Koeman interview: De Jong will be even better, when...
The former Barcelona player and current Dutch coach spoke to SPORT
SPORT interviewed Barcelona's Wembley hero and current Dutch coach Ronald Koeman.
You've seen a lot of Barca games this season, you like what you see?
There's been a bit of everything, good games and weaker games. They're still a great team with very good players, that's why they're top of the league.
What defects does this Barca have?
I see two. One, intensity. Like it or not, today the top teams play at a very intense rhythm for the 90 minutes. Barca find it hard to maintain that. We saw it in the famous Liverpool game, but in the Spanish Super Cup against Atletico this year. Barca were superior for 80 minutes, they disconnected the last 10 and Atletico, fresher and more intense, won.
And the other?
They don't dominate games like in previous years. In that aspect Barca have to get their identity back, that's part of their DNA> they've always had control, but a more effective control.
Is it worrying that Messi is in the final part of his career?
Leo is the best of all time. And by some way. But he's human and can't always be the fix-all solution. Barca have to prepare for life without him gradually. Without Messi, nothing will be the same. They have to take that on.
You know De Jong well. He says he can do better.
And he can. This year is a transition for him, like for me when I signed for Barca in 1989. He's a very smart boy and perfect for football. He'll succeed, for sure. What's hurting him is that he's not playing in his natural position, like at Ajax.
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