Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, apparently in a change of heart, has revealed post-match how Riqui Puig stepped up to assume responsibility for taking Barcelona’s decisive fifth penalty against Real Sociedad in their Supercopa de Espana encounter.
Koeman has been under scrutiny this campaign for his staunch reluctance to use Puig, who is generally considered one of Barca’s brightest young talents, supposedly due to the latter’s attitude problems. The prodigal Puig had been confined largely to the sidelines while Ansu Fati, prior to his injury, and Pedri were given an opportunity to shine, giving rise to criticism being leveled at the Barca boss for his unwillingness to field Puig.
Thankfully on this occasion for Koeman and Barcelona, Puig was fielded, albeit only as a substitute, for the match as their clash with La Real went the full distance to penalties. In the end, it was the young lad who took Barcelona’s fifth and final penalty, knowing only too well that should he somehow find the back of the net, the team would progress. And he didn’t disappoint.
Commenting post-match, Koeman gave credit to Puig for stepping up to the mark and assuming responsibility for daring to take on a potentially decisive fifth penalty.
Let’s hope this is a turnaround situation for Puig with the ice in Koeman’s veins beginning to thaw regarding his earlier views on the youngster.
Barcelona fans will most certainly love this and look forward to Puig given regular appearance time on the pitch.