Barcelona vs Ferencvaros Ahead of 2020/21 Champions League opener
Neto spoke to the press ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League opener for the 2020/21 season, with Ferencvaros travelling to the Camp Nou on Tuesday. Not all questions were about the competition or the opposition however, with the emphasis very much on the recent defeat to Getafe and the underwhelming displays of Antoine Griezmann.
The Brazilian goalkeeper, who has started every league game so far for the club this season due to Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s injury, lept to the defence of his French teammate, insisting that the Blaugrana will see the best of him soon.
“I see Griezmann well, as always,” he said at the pre-match press conference. “In this profession we know how everything works. I see him doing well, happy, and working. The season is very long. He will be a player who will give us a lot, as he has up to now.”
Regarding Tuesday’s encounter, Neto expressed his determination to get off to a flyer in order to give the team confidence for what potentially lies ahead.
“We are looking forward to a great start in this edition of the Champions League. We’re enthusiastic and want to prove ourselves tomorrow,” Neto said.
“It’s an important match. We need a good result because we also know the importance of winning at home. This is the Champions League and the whole team are looking forward to starting.”
Although the Hungarians are the major underdogs for Tuesday’s clash, Neto was keen to stress that they are not a side to be underestimated.
“We have a lot of respect for Ferencvaros. We will have to give our best because they have a great opportunity in front of them and will seek to take advantage of it. They’ve already won against some great sides in the previous four qualifying rounds, and they will not make it easy for us. We will fight to get a good result.”
Much is being said about the lacklustre display of the Catalans in the recent 1-0 defeat at Getafe, but Neto is not giving it too much emphasis and instead focus on hard work in order to bounce back.
“Nobody likes to lose, but we have to forget about the game against Getafe. We have to focus on tomorrow’s Champions League match because football goes by very fast. The important thing is to keep working,” Neto added.
Among the more positive takeouts from Barcelona’s start to the season has been the reemergence of Philippe Coutinho, who has preformed admirably in the first few encounters.
“I am very happy for Coutinho, but also for me and the team,” he said. “It’s great to have a friend like him with me on the staff again, and he is also helping us all with his quality. He is proving his standard. He has returned very motivated and very strong. He will give us a lot because we know his potential.”
Ronald Koeman appeared before the press shortly before Neto, and the Brazilian goalkeeper feels the new coach has slotted straight in.
“Koeman’s adaptation to Barcelona has been quick. We are all looking for results and the important thing is that each player gives everything and is committed to following his ideas,” he said.