BarcelonaThe Champions League returns to the Camp Nou. Bayern Munich, Barça’s executioner on the sad night of 2-8 in Lisbon, will be Barça’s rivals in their debut in the continental competition and the ghosts are once again flying over the Catalan dressing room. The traumatic and painful defeat in Lisbon in the quarterfinals in the summer of 2020 marked the end of an era and now, without Messi, it is time to start again. With a team weakened by forced exits due to the entity’s subsistence economy and a complicated relationship between Ronald Koeman and Joan Laporta, the Dutch-led team will embark on a new campaign full of light and shadow. The memory of Lisbon, however, is still very much present in the dressing room. “These are things that are difficult to accept. Football is like that. Time has passed and we are mentalized that this match must be different,” admitted Sergio Busquets in the press conference prior to Tuesday’s match against Bayern ( 9pm, Movistar Champions League).
“We know we have had important changes in the team and we need time, but in football, in general, there is no time and we have to prove things. It is an interesting match in which we can draw good conclusions about how we are against a powerful rival.” , diagnosed the Barça coach, who has rekindled the controversy in recent hours. In an interview on Dutch television NOS, Koeman noted his displeasure with Barça president Joan Laporta over his doubts about the coach’s continuity: “He talked too much. This can be done in private. I like it. when a president is engaged and also asks questions. Just not having to go out in the press, that was the problem, “he explained.
With his statements very present, the Barça coach wanted to explain himself at the press conference prior to the team’s debut in the Champions League. “Our relationship is good. If there are things, we talk and in the end we both want the best for the club. The club is the most important thing and there is no problem with the president. He comes many times. [a la ciutat esportiva] and we talk about club stuff. For me, it’s a perfect relationship. We had a few things, but we talked and we agreed “, Koeman said about his relationship with Joan Laporta. A painful defeat against the Bavarians, however, could complicate everything again in the first European match with spectators at the Camp Nou in more than a year and a half.
Koeman, in fact, has been asked about the statements to NOS in which he stated, “Thanks to me, this club has a future.” And he wanted to nuance them: “The only thing I’ve said is that I’m a coach who gives young people opportunities. I’ve said it in another sense. [del que s’entén]. It is not known if someone else would give as many opportunities to young people as we have given. I am a coach and we are looking for the best for the club. It’s complicated, but we’re trying to improve. And one thing we do do is give young people a chance, because they are the future of the club. “From the locker room they don’t want to take sides in the controversy.” It’s an issue they have to resolve among themselves. Everyone owns their words and their statements. I think there is no problem between them, and what they want is the best for the team and for the club “, explained Busquets, who reiterated the team’s commitment to the coach andstaff.
Bayern, a trauma still present
This Tuesday’s match against Bayern Munich will once again raise dust. The 2-8 was a traumatic day for the whole locker room, which will now look to start with good feelings this new season in the top European competition. They don’t start as favorites, but “in football anything can happen,” the captain said. “Chelsea were not in the favorites at the start of last season and won the Champions League. We know we don’t have Leo Messi, but we have to try. It’s a new stage and tomorrow will not be an easy match. We are aware of the difficulty, but little by little we want to be a solid rival and face the rivals “, Busquets confessed. “Bayern are a great team and they have a lot of quality. It’s a complicated match, but I have a lot of hope to be able to compete in this competition. We will try to get a good result to start,” Koeman reflected at a press conference.
The Dutch coach will have to face the match with notable casualties. For the European debut at the Camp Nou, the Dutchman will only be able to count on three of the seven strikers in the squad. The latest casualty, Martin Braithwaite, who will undergo surgery this week for a femoropatellar injury to his left knee that has not responded to conservative treatment. In addition, neither Ansu Fati, nor Ousmane Dembélé nor Agüero are available for the appointment and the coach will be forced to line up the last reinforcement arrived at Can Barça, Luuk de Jong, with Memphis Depay and perhaps the Austrian Yusuf Demir accompanying . “Physically we are very well,” warns the boss, who has the doubt of Sergiño Dest, injured after the day of selections. “We can hurt Bayern, we have to look for our style to be able to hurt the opposite,” said Koeman, who is convinced of adding the three points in Barça’s European debut at the Camp Nou against his last executioner.