FC Barcelona News

'Lionel Messi was a tyrant in training,' claims Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman

Arjun Singh Devgan
Lionel Messi left Barcelona for PSG in the summer
Lionel Messi left Barcelona for PSG in the summer / ANDER GILLENEA/Getty Images

Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman has opened up on former club talisman, Lionel Messi, revealing that the Argentina icon was a menace in training and demanded the best out of the players and the managerial staff.

Messi moved to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer after Barcelona decided not to offer him a new deal, with the striker deciding to end his long association with the Catalan giants and leave the Nou Camp despite clamour for him to stay.

The Catalan giants are already missing the record six-time Ballon d'Or award winner and now Koeman has admitted that the superstar was a "tyrant".

“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. 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," he told Source.

“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.”

Life without Messi has not gone on to well for Barcelona in the nascent stages of the 2021/22 season, as they find themselves placed eighth in the LaLiga table with eight points from four games, trailing table toppers, Real Madrid by eight points.