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Koeman disagrees with Setien, says Messi not difficult to manage

Barcelone manager, Ronald Koeman has openly disagreed with claims by former manager, Quique Setien, that Lionel Messi is difficult to manage.

Koeman, who was speaking before the club’s Champions League Group G match against Dynamo Kyiv, insists Messi is the best player in the world.

Messi’s former boss, Setien, who was sacked in August, had over the weekend suggested that he found the Argentine forward hard to handle during his brief tenure.

“I don’t agree [with Setien] but I respect his opinion and what he has experienced,” said Koeman.

“Messi is a very good player, the best in the world.

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“I see his ambition but he is not a player I have difficulty managing.

“Every coach is different – but for me, he is the captain and I talk to him every week about things in the dressing room and on the pitch and there is a good relationship,” the coach said.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have made a strong start in this season’s Champions League, beating Juventus and Ferencvaros to sit top of Group G.

But in La Liga, Koeman’s side, in poor form, are 12th, having not won any of their past four games, and losing 3-1 at home to Real Madrid on 24 October.

“I understand the criticism. Two points from the last four games is not good and it is normal for criticism to come. I accept it and keep working to improve things,” Koeman added.

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Ben Ugbana

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