Ronald Koeman’s comments on Lionel Messi from 2015 come back to haunt him after Barcelona loss
The Dutchman made the comments about the Argentine superstar while manager of Southampton back in 2015.
And they have now resurfaced six years on after Koeman’s Barcelona side were humbled in the Champions League.
Messi opened the scoring in the last-16 tie, but Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick and a goal from Moise Kean saw PSG claim a first-leg lead.
After the match, a clip of Koeman talking about how easy it is for a coach to have Messi in their team did the rounds on social media.
In the clip, the then-Southampton boss said: “It’s an easy job for the coach to have Messi in your team…because he makes a difference.
“The Barcelona team is strong, very good players, but if you have Messi…[it] makes it look so easy.
“He’s a great player, maybe the best in the last 20 years.”
Unfortunately for Koeman, however, Messi’s brilliance hasn’t made life in Catalonia a walk in the park for the new manager.
Barcelona sit third in the La Liga table and are three points behind El Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
The gap to league leaders Atletico Madrid is even greater at eight points with Barca having played a game more.
They’re also looking at an uphill task in the Copa del Rey after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Sevilla in the first-leg of their semi-final.
Meanwhile, their catastrophic first-leg loss to PSG in the Champions League makes qualification in Europe almost impossible too.
Koeman is also facing up to the prospect of losing Messi with the Argentine’s contract up at the end of the season.
He has been consistently linked with a move to PSG, although a switch could hinge on Barcelona’s upcoming presidential elections.
Source: Daily Star