FC Barcelona – La Liga Lamented the Real Madrid coach
Rivaldo has praised the way Ronald Koeman has been working with Barcelona‘s youngsters and has criticised Zinedine Zidane for failing to do something similar at Real Madrid.
The former Barcelona playmaker explained that the Dutchman has successfully integrated young prodigies into a group of experienced players.
“I have always said that the key to managing young talents is not to put too much pressure on them,” Rivaldo said in his Betfair column. “and I think [Ronald] Koeman is doing well, bringing the kids together with [Sergio] Busquets, [Lionel] Messi and Jordi Alba.
“Koeman deserves to be congratulated and respected for that management.
“I don’t know who will be behind all this, but [Zinedine] Zidane is doing the opposite of what he did when he started using young talents like [Fede] Valverde, Rodrygo [Goes] or Vinicius [Junior]
“I read this week that it could be a punishment because Vinicius would have looked at his mobile phone during a Zidane talk
“Those things do not have to be solved by leaving a footballer without playing, because then you are hurting your own team and Zidane himself.
“It would mean dropping a footballer who could be crucial in many games. That is usually resolved with a fine.”
Rivaldo went on to hail Marc-Andre Ter Stegen following his extraordinary performance in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final with Real Sociedad.
“For me, Ter Stegen is the best goalkeeper I have ever seen at Barcelona, even ahead of Victor Valdes,” Rivaldo added.
“Many will not agree with me. I saw Valdes‘ first steps at Barcelona and it is true that they have a similar style, but despite this I insist that I like Ter Stegen more, he seems better to me.
“Today, he is the best goalkeeper in the world. You can use many adjectives, but for me it is not only that he is very good as a goalkeeper, he is also very safe with the ball on his feet, a guarantee.”
Ousmane Dembele has shown glimpses of his potential in the last few Barcelona games and Rivaldo stressed that the Frenchman needs to be focused on training to keep progressing.
“I admit that I have criticised him at times,” Rivaldo continued. “but what I have always said is that [Dembele] is a great player who simply needs to stop being distracted and focus on what is important: football and Barcelona.
“He has a lot of brilliant resources and he can play with both feet. He has a lot of personality too. If he is focused, he will be able to impress everyone.”