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Feb 17, 2020, 6:00:00 AM

Setien Speaks on Team’s Future

Following a tough start for new Barcelona boss Quique Setien, he is still hoping that the team can bounce back in their race against Real Madrid for the top spot in La Liga.

With the team still reeling from the sacking of former boss Ernesto Valverde - who seemingly did nothing wrong as he helped them plummet into the top for the first half of the season, Barcelona continues to struggle despite having one of the best players in the planet.

Setien is hoping that he could convince Lionel Messi to stay with the club for more years, and possibly for the remainder of his career. The boss is aiming to reshape Barca’s environment at this point in the season.

‘I hope we can make him so happy that he's desperate to stay. But he will be here in the future anyway, I have no doubts about that’, Setien said regarding Messi’s stint with the Spanish contenders.

Messi has been formidable for the team this season. He continues to grow after each game that he plays and is delivering consistent numbers in the second half of the season.

‘You can tell he's a winner and that he wants things done well. He's interested in the team talks. He knows he's an important player, that he can solve many games, but we have to focus on the team to be stronger’, Setien continued.

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Messi is just one of the primary concerns for Setien. He has other priorities in bringing focus and consistency back into the team one player at a time. Losing Luis Suarez was a big blow, but then he had to come up with on the fly solutions.

He is eyeing Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele as a Plan B on offence. It will help take off pressure from Messi in their matches.

‘Like most, they have things that they can improve on. You have to keep in mind that they are still young kids’, Setien said of Griezmann and Dembele. ‘Their dedication, from what I have seen, is total and absolute. I have tears when I see the capacity and intensity in which they work’.

Setien is keeping the future in mind for his squad. That does not guarantee that he will be stay for the future as well because there is a lot of pressure on his shoulders - and one of those things is keeping the team up top against Real Madrid.

With the El Clasico drawing near, Setien might have to plan well ahead in battling their longtime rivals. That goalless draw back in December 2019 was still disappointing, but that does not give either side a reason to be comfortable now more than ever.

With the La Liga crown at stake, Setien knows that if he wants to continue planning for the team’s future, he must win this season for Barca first.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA