Something has changed at FC Barcelona. For several games, there has been no trace of the tenderness and lack of commitment that accompanied Ronald Koeman's project in its first steps. The Dutch coach has been able to inject a dose of confidence into the squad. He has done so with tactical changes and, above all, by taking care of the small details that make a team competitive and successful.
"I am really proud of the atmosphere in the dressing room. The team believes in itself. The important thing is the players are united. I liked seeing everyone, even the substitutes, celebrating the goals and the qualification for the Copa del Rey final," Koeman purred before Saturday's league game against Osasuna.
"I don't know if we're stronger than our rivals. We're doing well and we're putting a lot of energy into our games. Our play with the ball is good and we're creating chances. You notice that the fans are happy because there's a buzz around the team after some tough times. We have worked hard for this feeling with the supporters. I hope they're back in the ground soon. We need them."
In relation to winning La Liga, the Barça coach added that "we have to be realistic and focused on ourselves. We have to keep going, there's a long way to go."
Barça travel to Osasuna this weekend and then, on Sunday, leaders Atletico Madrid host local rivals Real Madrid. Koeman said he hopes the team higher up the table "drops points" although a draw would also be a good result for Barça if they win on Saturday.
The Barcelona coach also said there are "eight or nine players (at the club) that have played more than anyone else in Europe" and that "what the team is doing is incredible. I hope at the end of the season we can say we have done well and won a trophy. Recent results and the comeback against Sevilla have given us a morale boost."