Barcelona boss Koeman complains about Cornella pitch: “Playing on artificial grass pitches is not football”

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has hit out at the artificial surface at Cornella ahead of their Copa del Rey clash this midweek.

The Dutchman has spoken with clarity about his dissatisfaction with the fact that their Catalan neighbours play on an artificial 4G surface, rather than real grass, and he believes that it should not be allowed.

Koeman told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, in quotes carried by El Pais: “For me, playing on artificial grass pitches is not football. I understand that these teams have the advantage of playing at home and I like it that way. But it depends on the state of the pitch and on the light.”

It is likely that the Blaugrana will field a much-changed team for the trip to the Segunda B side, who defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the previous round of the competition.

It is likely that several first-team squad fringe players will make a rare start in the encounter alongside the possibility of several B team stars making their senior debuts for the club.

Koeman added that the state of the pitch at Cornella would justify the decision of playing more of the younger players: “The young people in our squad and some from the B team are more used to playing on this type of surface, because they are familiar with it from grassroots football.

“The older players have not played on artificial surfaces since I don’t know when and that would cost us because the ball bounces differently, it goes faster if the pitch is wet. You have to prepare because there is no excuse for playing on artificial grass. It is time to play and it is time to comply.”

Tags Cornella Ronald Koeman
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