The future of the Argentine had dominated Barcelona news in the weeks surrounding Koeman’s appointment in late August at the Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana carried out major changes in the weeks that followed their 8-2 Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich with Koeman replacing Quique Setien at the helm alongside multiple player departures.
Now aged 33, Messi’s contract at the Camp Nou expires next summer while he tried to force an exit at the end of August.
That preceded the Messi news that he confirmed he was staying at the club for this season, although he clarified that he was less than happy to be doing so, after threatening to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.
Koeman has now told an interview with Diario Sport: “When I arrived, they told me that Messi was unhappy. We spoke at his house. He explained his reasons to me and I was honest; I told him that the only thing I can change is football.
“Things related to the system, his position on the pitch and his importance in the team. However, I could not change his situation with the club itself.
“Messi has shown me to be a person who wants to win things, to be the best, and continue to be the best, even though he had his problems with the club.
“Barça has been, is and will be a better team with Messi than without Messi.”
Image via Barcelona Noticias