Ronald Koeman believes that Barcelona need to move on from Lionel Messi and close the book on the Argentine’s time at the club as they need to focus on the new season. The 34-year-old left the club after spending more than twenty years at the Camp Nou, signing for PSG on a free-transfer.
After more than 600 plus appearances for Barcelona, Lionel Messi and the La Liga giants announced that the two parties won’t be continuing on together. While the move had a lot to do with the La Liga’s financial fair play rules, it also brought an end to a 21 year spell for Messi at the Camp Nou with the Argentine signing for Paris Saint-Germain, five days later. However, with many fans and critics alike still mourning the loss of a club legend, the Catalan giants have moved on.
That fact has been reiterated by Ronald Koeman who believes that Barcelona need to “close the book” on Lionel Messi because there is “always an end for a player”. The club’s head coach further added that they have “young players” who are the future and need to be focusing on both the new season and on helping the players do well.
"We have to understand that there is always an end for a player. You have to close the book because now we have to focus on this new season. We have new players in and we have to move forward, and we have time for that,” Koeman told ESPN.
"We have young players in the squad this season, and it's also for the future, we are working on the future of this club, and it's really important to have our focus on this and not focus on what happened in the last few days."
The 34-year-old leaving Barcelona shocked fans and critics alike with Koeman amongst the many stunned at the fact that Messi did leave the Camp Nou for a new club. However, the Dutch manager admitted that he knew that “there was a difficult situation” between the two parties and the league to manage accounts and that there was a possibility of Messi leaving.
"I knew there was a difficult situation between the club and Leo Messi and the league to have the possibilities to keep Messi in the club. It takes a long time, but I was also surprised by the day and the moment that I heard that he was finished playing for Barcelona. I knew the financial situation of the club made it more difficult.
"I think it was difficult because we are not just talking about any player, we are talking about Leo Messi, the best player in the world through a lot of seasons and we were all disappointed that he will not play for us this season.
"OK, you have to change fast because you don't stay in the disappointment with the new season starting. You have to understand it was for a few days a difficult situation. Messi meant so much for this club,” he added.