Messi on verge of breaking Pele record, Koeman bemoans handball rule

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: BARCELONA TRAINING SESSION, NEWS CONFERENCE WITH BARCELONA COACH, RONALD KOEMAN

SHOWS:

BARCELONA, SPAIN (DECEMBER 21, 2020) (BARCA TV - MUST NOT OBSCURE LOGO)

1. VARIOUS OF BARCELONA CAPTAIN, LIONEL MESSI (LEFT) WALKING ON TRAINING PITCH WITH DEFENDER, JORDI ALBA

2. BARCELONA PLAYERS ON TRAINING PITCH

3. PLAYERS IN HUDDLE - MIDFIELDER, SERGIO BUSQUETS (FAR LEFT) SPEAKING WITH MIRAN PJANIC (SECOND FROM LEFT)

4. PLAYERS WARMING UP

5. PJANIC AND BUSQUETS JOGGING, FOLLOWED BY MIDFIELDER, FRENKIE DE JONG, STRIKER, MARTIN BRAITHWAITE, MIDFIELDER, PEDRI AND FORWARD, TRINCAO

6. PLAYERS TRAINING

7. MESSI STRETCHING ALONG WITH TEAM MATES / PLAYERS WARMING UP

8. BARCELONA COACH, RONALD KOEMAN WALKING ON TRAINING PITCH

9. GOALKEEPER, MARC-ANDRE TER STEGEN WARMING UP

10. GOALKEEPERS WARMING UP

11. MESSI DOING TRAINING DRILL

12. PLAYERS TRAINING

13. DE JONG AND DEFENDER, JUNIOR FIRPO WARMING UP, FOLLOWED BY BRAITHWAITE AND DEFENDER, CLEMENT LENGLET

14. PLAYERS TRAINING

15. MESSI WARMING UP / DE JONG WARMING UP

16. PLAYERS DOING TRAINING DRILL

17. MESSI DOING TRAINING DRILL

18. VARIOUS OF PLAYERS DOING POSSESSION TRAINING DRILL KNOWN AS RONDO

19. KOEMAN ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE

20. REPORTER ASKING QUESTION ON SPLIT SCREEN

21. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH, RONALD KOEMAN, TALKING ABOUT HANDBALL RULE AFTER REAL MADRID DID NOT CONCEDE A PENALTY IN THEIR VICTORY AGAINST EIBAR, SAYING:

"I don't understand the handball rules, but I repeat the same thing I said after the match with Madrid, if you ask 10 people if yesterday's incident was a penalty, nine would say yes but the referee decided against it."

22. REPORTER ASKING QUESTIONS

23. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH, RONALD KOEMAN, SAYING:

"I could think it was penalty, everyone is allowed to believe what they want. I don't want to say more, but I saw the game, and for me it was penalty, but the referee and his VAR team decided against it, I respect the referee's decision, but if you ask me, was it a penalty? It was a penalty."

24. REPORTER ASKING QUESTIONS

25. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH, RONALD KOEMAN, SAYING:

"We have to have the maximum concentration to win the game. We know that sometimes we are missing taller people to defend well."

26. REPORTER ASKING QUESTION

27. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH, RONALD KOEMAN, SAYING:

"It is a team where we have changed things and with many more young players. This implies inconsistency because we lack people in certain positions. For the future it is good, but being Barca it is necessary to win titles. It is a bit complicated, on one hand we know that we are changing things with younger people but we need time and we know that we are Barça and that we want to win matches."

28. KOEMAN LEAVING AT END OF THE NEWS CONFERENCE

STORY: Lionel Messi needs to score one goal in Barcelona's next game on Tuesday (December 22) to break Pele's record of 643 goals for a single club.

The Argentine equalled the record on Saturday (December 19) when he scored in Barca's 2-2 draw against Valencia and can claim the outright record against Real Valladolid on Tuesday for what would be an early Christmas present.

One gift Ronald Koeman would love to receive is the ability to understand the handball rule.

The Dutchman told reporters on Monday (December 21) that the rule in Spain still confuses him after rivals Real Madrid were spared a penalty when Sergio Ramos struck the ball with his arm in Sunday's (December 20) 3-1 win at Eibar.

Eibar coach Jose Luis Mendilibar raged against the decision, which was not reviewed by the referee, and even Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal said players do still not understand why certain handball offences are punished and others are not.

Barca were denied a third consecutive league win of the season against Valencia and head to Valladolid looking for their first away win of the campaign since beating Celta on Oct. 1.

Koeman said his side must pay equal attention to defence as attack against Valladolid and should iron out the lapses in concentration that have cost them dear in recent matches.

Koeman had criticised his side for a lack of maturity in the draw with Valencia and he reiterated the team were in a period of transition due to losing experienced players in the summer and replacing them with youngsters.

But he also recognised the team's inexperience was no excuse for their poor results.

(Production: May Ponzo, Tim Hart)