Barcelona, September 17
Lionel Messi scored his first objectives of Barcelona’s preseason as coach Ronald Koeman left Luis Suárez and Arturo Vidal off his crew for a second pleasant match.
Messi netted two objectives and arrange yet one more in a 3-1 victory over second-tier Girona, Barcelona’s second coaching match since Koeman took over as coach.
The objectives had been additionally Messi’s first since his failed try to go away the membership this offseason, following a trophy-less season and the humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich within the Champions League quarterfinals. Messi instructed the membership he needed to go away, solely to alter his thoughts after Barcelona refused to permit him to go.
Barcelona posted a photograph on Twitter of Messi and Koeman clasping fingers when the star ahead was substituted together with most of his teammates with half an hour to go. It appeared meant to ship a message of unity between the participant and supervisor amid some of the tumultuous intervals within the membership’s latest historical past.
Barcelona is looking for new houses for Suárez and Vidal, two gamers who at 33 years outdated don’t match into Koeman’s plans to rejuvenate the crew.
Spanish media reported that Vidal is near a transfer to Inter Milan. Juventus’ reported curiosity in Suárez seems to have cooled in latest days.
Koeman even left the door open to Suárez staying when the coach spoke after Wednesday’s victory.
“If Suárez ends up staying, he will be treated like any other member of this team,” Koeman mentioned. “I spoke to him this morning and we still don’t know if he is going or staying.”
Girona supplied little resistance to Barcelona’s assault, fashioned by new signing Francisco Trincão, Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann and Messi.
Messi’s completely positioned move despatched Trincão clear for the Portugal ahead to sq. the ball to Coutinho, who solely needed to scoop within the 20th-minute opener.
Messi doubled the lead within the 45th with a shot from exterior the world that went in off the upright.
Samuel Saiz received Girona on the scoreboard after halftime earlier than Messi received his brace with a shot that took a deflection off a defender to idiot the Girona goalkeeper.
Koeman mentioned he was happy along with his younger gamers, above all with American 19-year-old Konrad de la Fuente, who got here on in its place 4 days after he made his debut within the pleasant in opposition to Tarragona final weekend.
“If I have to pick one young player to single out, I will go with Konrad,” Koeman mentioned. “I am happy with him, just like I am with Riqui (Puig) and (Pedro) “Pedri” (González).” Koeman can have yet one more warm-up match in opposition to Elche on Saturday earlier than Barcelona begins the Spanish league season in opposition to Villarreal on Sept. 27. — AP