Barcelona news has been dominated in recent times by the future of Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar tried to leave the club last summer only to be thwarted, and sees his contract with the Catalan club expire this summer.
The saga has been made worse by the success of his great friend, Luis Suarez, at Atletico Madrid. The Uruguayan marksman is currently leading the Pichichi standings and his goals have been crucial in firing Los Colchoneros to the top of the table.
Barcelona allowed Suarez to join Atletico in the summer on a free transfer so keen were they to get him off their books. He looked on the cusp of joining Juventus before the move fell through and it was instead into the arms of Diego Simeone in which he fell.
Barcelona have been sub-standard this season. They’re currently second in La Liga, ten points off Atletico, and lost the final of the Supercopa de Espana to Athletic Bilbao. They’re still in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, but have proven unconvincing in both.
It’s safe to say that Ronald Koeman has endured a tumultuous start to his reign at Camp Nou after taking over this past summer, and he’s revealed in a recent interview that while he admits it wasn’t ideal that Suarez stayed in Spain it’s a call he stands by.
“It’s part of your job,” Koeman said to The Athletic in comments carried by Caught Offside. “You speak to the club – and when I came as a coach to Barcelona we had our opinions and I had the information out of the club – and then finally you make decisions.
“You need to make these decisions because if it goes well then it’s OK, but if it doesn’t go well then it needs to be my way and that’s the most important thing. We’re changing, of course, and it would have been better if Luis Suarez signed for Juventus instead of Atletico Madrid because he’s still in the Spanish League.
“But that kind of decision, we had to make it, really tough ones but showing respect to the player, and I think that’s really important. And I still agree with what we did at that time.”