Lionel Messi was ‘tyrant’ during training, says Barca coach Ronald Koeman

Barca coach Ronald Koeman has said Lionel Messi was like “a tyrant” during training at Barcelona. The Argentina star raised the bar at the Camp Nou club as he developed into one of the greatest to ever play the game before departing to join Paris Saint-Germain this year.

“Lionel Messi has obscured everything. He was so good and he won,” Koeman told Voetbal International, as reported by goal.com.

“Of course he had good players around him, but he made the difference. Everyone seems better than they are because of him. This is not a criticism, but an observation,” said the Barcelona coach.

Koeman, who worked with the Argentina star for a year before Messi left the club for Paris Saint-Germain said, “I knew how good he is, but it`s still nice to see it up close every day. Everything you would like to teach a football player, in recognising situations, in taking the ball under pressure, in ball speed, in finishing; with Messi everything is a 10 Not normal, not normal!

“When we did a finishing practice during training, there were sometimes players who started to hit easy balls, a bit of fooling around. But with Messi everything was: boom, boom, boom, boom. Never frills, everything functional. And always wanted to win everything.”

Messi left Barcelona and ended his 20-year relationship with the club after it could not keep the Argentine due to financial difficulties.

Remembering his time training the Argentine, Koeman said, “We always play a rondo before training. If the ball goes around 20 times, then the players in the middle must have an extra turn. If that happens three times in a row, the players will form two lines and the two who were in the middle then walk through and get taps on their heads and such.”

“I asked Messi if it had happened to him once. `Yes, once,` he said. In all those years. With him, the older players never lost an exercise against the young. It happened once and Messi was seriously angry about that for a week. Really, a tyrant,” he added.

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