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Koeman confident Super League saga will not distract Barca

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Berlin, April 21 (IANS) Ronald Koeman does not believe Barcelona’s involvement in the collapsed European Super League will have an impact on the club’s performance in La Liga.

Barca were among 12 elite clubs — three of them from Spain — to sign up for the controversial new continental competition over the weekend.

But by Tuesday night, the tournament — a rival to the Champions League — had collapsed after England’s ‘Big Six’ pulled out and others followed.

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There are reports that English football’s ‘Big Six’ clubs could still face Premier League sanctions despite backing out of the breakaway Super League.

Barca head into the midweek round of fixtures third in La Liga, five points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and two shy of Real Madrid but with a game in hand over both.

Although Atletico and Madrid were also part of the Super League plans, it was put to Koeman that his players might be distracted in their pursuit of the championship.

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“I don’t agree,” he replied. “Players want to win titles, I have no doubt about my players. We’re going to be fine at tomorrow’s game.”

Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli — a key Super League figure — has accepted defeat in their breakaway bid, but Koeman was reluctant to comment on Barca’s status as “no one knows what can happen”.

“I spoke to the president yesterday and he explained the club’s position,” Koeman said.

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“There’s been so much movement that it’s best not to have an opinion. No one knows what can happen and we have to wait. I want what’s best for the club.

“I’m not surprised. We want what’s best for the club. If there’s anyone who needs to talk about this, it’s clearly the president.”

Even those coaches critical of the Super League — like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola — have highlighted issues with UEFA, which is pressing ahead with its own expanded Champions League.

Koeman said: “Everyone is talking about the Super League, the Champions League… but UEFA is not heeding players about the number of matches. All they care about is money.”

–IANs

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–IANS

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