Ronald Koeman has tipped Antoine Griezmann to replace Lionel Messi in the grand scheme of things at Barcelona in the coming season.
It is an unfathomable situation to this day. Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player. In fact, the diminutive Argentine wizard is now at Paris Saint-Germain, having formally completed the switch to the Ligue 1 heavyweights on a two-year deal.
For well over a decade, the name Lionel Messi was synonymous with Barcelona and vice-versa. However, as the cruel reality of Messi’s bizarre departure continues to set in at Camp Nou, manager Ronald Koeman has insisted that it is time to move on by reaffirming that he is excited for the 2021/22 season to begin.
As quoted by Spanish publication AS, Koeman confident address post the Joan Gamper Trophy tie with Juventus had some interesting bits to focus on, especially when it came to addressing the Messi situation and who could possibly replace the great man at Camp Nou.
The Barcelona boss said, “Despite the farewell to Leo Messi, we are very excited about this new season. With the squad we have, the signings we have made and also young people have come up, which is always the future of this great club.”
“We are convinced that we will give you many joys this season. With a lot of help, a lot of sacrifice and a very good job we will achieve the maximum. We know what it is to be from Barca and what this club represents.”
“It has been a very emotional day, but we are above all professionals. I have told them that we had to accept the situation, that we could not change it and that we had to show that we are good enough. It is important to have the best, but we do not change our ideas or the way we play either. Griezmann has played in his position and he has done well.”
Koeman’s show of confidence ought to spur Griezmann on, especially after a difficult first couple of seasons as a Barcelona player. Koeman was also right when he said that Griezmann has previously excelled in the role that Messi reprised at Barcelona. Having said all that, the litmus test will come when the season begins this weekend and it remains to be seen if Griezmann can emulate Messi to even a little extent.