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Everyone seems better than they are because of Lionel Messi, reveals Ronald Koeman

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Koeman reflects on coaching Messi

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Everyone seems better than they are because of Lionel Messi, reveals Ronald Koeman

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SportsCafe Desk

09/22/2021

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has admitted that former Blaugrana player Lionel Messi was like a tyrant during training as he set the standards very high during his spell with the Spanish club. Messi left Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer over the summer on a two-year deal.

Over the summer, Lionel Messi became a free agent after his contract with Barcelona expired and negotiations over a new deal never came to fruition due to the Spanish club's financial woes and their inability to comply with La Liga's wage regulations. The Argentina captain thereafter left his boyhood club on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain to continue his immaculate legacy in his footballing career.

The 34-year-old set a high bar at Camp Nou as he developed into one of the greatest players that football has ever seen. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner made 778 appearances for Barcelona while scoring 672 goals and providing 301 assists across all competitions. Current Barcelona boss Koeman who worked with the Argentine for one season has revealed that the PSG star constantly raised the bar high during training and practices while being frustrated if he did not win during the training sessions.

"Of course he had good players around him, but he made the difference. Everyone seems better than they are because of him. This is not a criticism, but an observation. When we did a finishing practice during training, there were sometimes players who started to hit easy balls, a bit of fooling around. But with Messi, everything was: boom, boom, boom, boom. Never frills, everything functional. And always wanted to win everything,” Koeman told Voetbal International

“With him, the older players never lost an exercise against the young. It happened once and Messi was seriously angry about that for a week. Really a tyrant," he added.

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