With Lionel Messi struggling for form so far this season, Ronald Koeman has come to his defense and confessed that the Argentine makes Barcelona a better team when he’s in the side. The 33-year-old has netted just six goals in ten appearances so far but five of them have been penalties.
After his summer transfer saga, nobody expected Lionel Messi to simply get back to the level he finished last season at and so it has proved with the Argentine struggling. So far, Messi has scored just six goals in ten appearances across all competitions for his boyhood side with him only recently ending a six league match drought against Real Betis. It has had many concerned about the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, especially with Barcelona depending heavily on their captain.
Yet Messi’s substitute appearance against Real Betis proved that the Argentine is slowly but steadily coming back to his best despite the concerns surrounding his camp. It has seen Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman reaffirm the faith he has in his captain as he admitted that the La Liga giants are a better side with Messi in the team than without. Koeman further added that there are a few issues with the club that he couldn’t change but Messi is still committed to Barcelona.
"Messi has shown me to be a person who wants to win things and continue to be the best, even though he has had his problems with the club. Barcelona have been, are and will be a better team with Messi than without. When I arrived, they told me that Messi was unhappy. We spoke at his house and he explained his reasons to me. I was honest. I told him that the only thing is the system, his position on the field, his importance in the team," Koeman told Sport.
“But the problems that he had had with the club I couldn't change. From the first day I have said the same thing. He is the best and is committed to the club. He has had his issues, his problems this summer, but since he returned to training he has been very good. He has had bad luck in some games and he has not been able to offer the usual performance, but I am sure that at the end of the season he will have scored the usual goals."