Koeman was asked about the official performance in general. “It’s better if I don’t talk,” Koeman said when the referee was later brought up.

Ronald Koeman said that it’s better if he doesn’t talk about the referee

Ronald Koeman was tight-lipped over referee Jesús Gil Manzano’s performance in the Supercopa de Espana final between Barcelona and Athletic Club. With the match seemingly lost for the Blaugrana, Lionel Messi was sent off in the final minutes of extra time for a swipe-out at Asier Villalibre. Koeman was asked about the official performance in general. “It’s better if I don’t talk,” Koeman said when the referee was later brought up. “It’d just be repeating things, and I don’t like doing it. I’m not going to give my opinion. I understand what Messi did on the red card. I don’t know how many fouls they committed against him. He tries to dribble and can’t. Do I forgive him? I need to see the incident. Before the match, there was a lot of speculation about whether Messi would be suitable to play given that he missed the semi-final with the injury.

Barcelona haven’t tall players

“After all these years, he knows when he can play and when he can’t,” Koeman said, defending Messi. “He decided to play, and that’s it.” One of Barcelona’s downfalls came in giving freekicks out wide, with Villalibre equalising from one to take the tie to extra time. “It’s the ability to know on behalf of the opponent how to draw fouls, and the players they have can be dangerous from set-pieces,” Koeman continued. “It often happens to us, and we don’t have tall players,” Koeman said before the game that winning the trophy would be a good step in developing Barcelona as a team. “This is not a step back,” he added after the defeat to Athletic.

 

“The trophy shows that you are on the right track. We’re going to show that we are still on the right track. We did everything to win the game, and both teams are very tired.”