KEY POINTS

  • Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman disagrees with former Barca coach Quique Setien's claim that Lionel Messi is difficult to manage
  • Koeman insisted that he hasn't had any issues with Messi
  • The Dutchman isn't worried about his future with Barcelona and remains focused on winning

Contrary to what sacked Barcelona coach Quique Setien recently revealed about Lionel Messi, Ronald Koeman insists that the Argentine icon carries himself in a very professional manner.

Messi has been an influential figure not only in Barcelona but in the entire sport as well. However, Setien was not always pleased with the player’s character, claiming that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is “difficult” to manage.

While no one from the club has confirmed Setien’s statement yet, Koeman took it upon himself and disagreed with the former Barca manager's claims.

"I have no difficulties to lead [him],” Koeman recently told a news conference of Messi ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev at Camp Nou. “He is the captain and I talk to him every week. I see things differently from Setien and I do not agree [with his opinion]."

Despite having different views on managing Messi, Koeman and Setien both agree that the Barcelona captain is indeed the best player in the world.

"I respect all opinions,” the coach pointed out. “For me, Leo [Messi] is the best player in the world, I am seeing his ambition and winning character.”

Stop arguing: Lionel Messi said he wants everyone at Barcelona to pull together Stop arguing: Lionel Messi said he wants everyone at Barcelona to pull together Photo: AFP / Josep LAGO

Koeman is expected to help Barcelona get back on their winning ways following a tumultuous 2019-20 La Liga season with Setien.

Thus far, the Dutchman has done a great job and has remained focus on reclaiming the Spanish top-flight title.

Prior to Koeman’s arrival, the Catalan club has fired two managers in the same year--Setien and Ernesto Valverde.

For Koeman, none of it makes sense at the moment as he emphasized that winning is on top of everything and not his future as the club’s coach.

"My future at Barcelona is not the most important thing,” he explained. “You have to live day by day and try to win the games. We ask for peace of mind and time because we are changing a lot of things. In La Liga, we have been good, but we have not gotten good results. In the rest, I have no influence. I will do my best to stay for a long time.”

Barcelona is coming off a 2-0 win over Juventus in Matchday 2 of this year’s UEFA Champions League. The club is looking to secure a safe spot in the league with another win on Wednesday when they face Dynamo Kyiv in Matchday 3.