Ronald Koeman was on the field as trainer for the first time at FC Barcelona on Monday. With a small selection, without most of the internationals, the 19 players present completed an individual session led by their new coach.
Frenkie de Jong was logically missing, due to international obligations with the Orange. Also Ansu Fati and Sergio Busquets (Spain), Clement Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann (France), Trincão and Semedo (Portugal) and Martin Braithwaite (Denmark) were absent.
Luis Suárez, who has been told that he can leave Barcelona, was on the field just like for example Gerard Piqué, Ousmane Dembélé, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal. Ivan Rakitic, who is about to return to Seville, had permission from Barcelona to skip training.
From Lionel Messi, who wants to leave Barcelona, it was clear in advance that he would not appear at the first practice session. The Argentine is at odds with the club where he has been playing all his life. Messi is very dissatisfied with the way things are going at Barcelona and wants to transfer to another club without any transfer.
However, Barcelona keeps him to his contract, which includes a transfer clause of 700 million euros for interested clubs. League organizer La Liga noted earlier this week that that clause is legally valid and that Messi can not just leave.
Koeman’s Barça opens against Villarreal
La Liga also presented the league schedule on Monday. Barcelona is only entering from the third round, because the club was still active in the Champions League in August. On 27 September, Villarreal is the first opponent for Koeman. That match will be played in Camp Nou.