RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT
VIDEO SHOWS: INTERVIEW WITH FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU SAYING RONALD KOEMAN IS SET TO BECOME CLUB'S NEW COACH AND THAT LIONEL MESSI WILL STAY, TALKING ABOUT CLUB'S SITUATION
SHOWS: BARCELONA, SPAIN (AUGUST 18, 2020) (BARCA TV - MUST COURTESY BARCA TV)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT, JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU, SAYING:
"Well, if there is no change, then Koeman will be the coach. We will announce him in the coming days as the person who will lead this team and these players forward with a different type of project led by a coach who all Barca fans know. Not only during his time as a player, but those who have followed his career know him as well as a coach, how we works, his philosophy and how he thinks and acts. So, if nothing changes, Koeman will be the coach next season."
2. WHITE FLASH
3. (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT, JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU, SAYING:
"We are betting on him because we know him very well. We know how he thinks and how his teams play, but also because of his experience. He has experience and has been in different clubs, and as he was in Johan's 'Dream Team,' he knows Barca and how we understand football. He believes in Barca's style of play and the way we understand football. So, that's why we chose him."
4. WHITE FLASH
5. (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT, JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU, SAYING:
"Messi has said many times he wants to end his career at Barca. What I can say is I've spoken to Koeman about him during these days of negotiation and he has told me Messi will be the pillar of his project."
6. WHITE FLASH
7. (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT, JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU, SAYING:
"We are all responsible, from the staff, the executives, the players and managers, and obviously the board and the president because at the end of the day, I'm the most responsible because I am the one who takes the decisions."
8. WHITE FLASH
9. (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT, JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU, SAYING:
"We didn't want to resign in this moment because we have the league starting in five weeks. And now we want to prepare the strategy and planning that we have been doing for weeks. And we didn't want to advance the elections because we have the COVID pandemic situation and the economic issue is very important."
STORY: Ronald Koeman is set to become Barcelona's next coach and the Dutchman will construct his team around Lionel Messi, president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Tuesday (August 18).
Koeman, who is revered by Barca fans for delivering their first European Cup as a player, will be expected to lead the club's rebuilding work after they were thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last Friday (August 14).
"If there is no change then we will announce Koeman as our next coach and he will lead this team and these players forward with a different type of project, led by a coach who all Barca fans know," Bartomeu said in an interview with the club's official television channel.
Koeman's imminent arrival will be the third phase of a restructuring of the club which began with Quique Setien's sacking on Monday (August 17) and continued on Tuesday (August 18) as sporting director Eric Abidal agreed to terminate his contract.
Koeman, 57, arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday after spending the morning at the Netherlands' headquarters to negotiate being released from his contract with the national team, who he has coached since 2018 and led to qualify for Euro 2020.
Koeman is fondly remembered at Barca for the role he played in Johan Cruyff's hugely successful side known as the 'Dream Team' and for scoring the only goal against Sampdoria in the 1992 European Cup final.
The defender later became the club's assistant coach before embarking on an eventful career as a head coach, managing Dutch sides Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord plus Premier League teams Southampton and Everton and La Liga's Valencia.
"We are betting on him because we know him very well, we know how he thinks and how his teams play, but also because of his experience and as he was in Johan's 'Dream Team' he knows Barca and how we understand football," Bartomeu added.
Bartomeu also said captain Messi was not about to leave the club and would be an integral part of the team under Koeman.
"Messi wants to end his career at Barca, he has said that many times. I've spoken to Koeman about him and he has told me Messi will be the pillar of his project," Bartomeu said.
Bartomeu, who on Monday announced that the club's presidential elections will take place in March 2021, three months earlier than planned, also defended his running of the club after facing calls to resign after the defeat by Bayern.
(Production: Miguel Gutierrez)