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Garcia Pimienta interview: On Riqui Puig, Lionel Messi, Barca B and more...

Through the hands of Francesc Xavier Garcia Pimienta (Barcelona, August 5, 1974) many talents have passed, including Lionel Messi.

Now the B team coach, Pimi, is moulding Riqui Puig, Chumi, Miranda and others, with the dream that they will be installed in the first team.

Book your tickets here and witness FC Barcelona masterclass football from Camp Nou best seats as Messi and company take on Eibar in their first LaLiga home fixture in 2019 on Sunday 13th. January (18:30h. CET)! 

Here is our interview with him:

At Barca B you have to develop players but you also face sporting challenges. The team is three spots below the play-off spots, is that above or below expectations?

To be honest, we’re doing better than I thought considering how hard the division is. We’re in good form, the team is showing it’s best qualities and I’m very happy.

Book your tickets here and witness FC Barcelona masterclass football from Camp Nou best seats as Messi and company take on Eibar in their first LaLiga home fixture in 2019 on Sunday 13th. January (18:30h. CET)! 

But there’s not a lot of goals…

When Rafa (Mujica) is in form he won’t stop, Abel Ruiz is injured at the moment but he has a lot of potential. Goals aren’t just to be scored by forwards either, Alena for example scored three goals for us from midfield.

Will there be more signings after Vilarrasa?

We always have to look at the market. If we can improve the squad we will try to because it’s a small one. There are three weeks to go in the window and we’re open to incomings.

Book your tickets here and witness FC Barcelona masterclass football from Camp Nou best seats as Messi and company take on Eibar in their first LaLiga home fixture in 2019 on Sunday 13th. January (18:30h. CET)! 

And exits?

In theory no, but there’s always a player who plays more, a player who plays less who might get an offer from elsewhere. It might not seem like it but they get a lot of calls from Segunda Division clubs who want them. I wouldn’t like that to happen.

Will Barca B make the playoffs?

I hope so but my main objective from start to finish is that each player improves their skills. We want to be in the top four and, if we can, get promoted, but never forget about developing the group.

Book your tickets here and witness FC Barcelona masterclass football from Camp Nou best seats as Messi and company take on Eibar in their first LaLiga home fixture in 2019 on Sunday 13th. January (18:30h. CET)! 

Isn’t development, and a potential rise to the first team, more likely in Segunda A?

That division is better because the pitches are better, the teams want the ball and are more aggressive to get it, which helps us. But if there’s a good bunch of players they will be able to make it to the first team even though we’re in the Segunda B.

Riqui Puig is being hacked a bit…

Riqui is having a great season in Segunda B and is adapting to the league. Of course in Segunda A it would be different and he, and the rest, would be able to show off their best selves, but look, in the first team where the pitches are good and you play at the top level, in the Champions League, if opponents can’t take the ball off Lionel Messi they will hack him too.

Book your tickets here and witness FC Barcelona masterclass football from Camp Nou best seats as Messi and company take on Eibar in their first LaLiga home fixture in 2019 on Sunday 13th. January (18:30h. CET)! 

How’s he doing after the raised expectations on him?

Riqui is in his first year, I think everything has come at him quickly, but technically he is special, he has innate talent, his vision, ability to disrupt… he’s a cheeky lad with a lot of self-confidence. He’s not afraid, he doesn’t care if his opponent is 1.95 metres tall, because he believes in himself. He has Barca DNA.

What does he lack?

He’s got to improve everything, but he’s 19 years old. He should score more, get into the box, defend better, win headers, if he wants to reach the top but it’s a learning process and we expect a lot from him.

Book your tickets here and witness FC Barcelona masterclass football from Camp Nou best seats as Messi and company take on Eibar in their first LaLiga home fixture in 2019 on Sunday 13th. January (18:30h. CET)! 

What’s the message sent to players like Chumi, when the club signs Todibo and Murillo?

We’re at Barca and we need the best players possible. Murillo seems to be here for six months and Valverde wants things to be calm and have another defender for an emergency. Regarding Todibo, he’s very young but there was a lot of demand for him. We also sign players to improve the squad in the B team.

You coached Messi at La Masia and he’s spoken about needing more homegrown players…

I talk to him when we meet, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. He appreciates what we did and says ‘yes, when I’m at home Iw watch Barca TV and remember my days there’. He sees the kids’ teams and would like many of them to come to Barca B and then the first team. Leo, who is the best player in the world, should be a reference point for them.

Book your tickets here and witness FC Barcelona masterclass football from Camp Nou best seats as Messi and company take on Eibar in their first LaLiga home fixture in 2019 on Sunday 13th. January (18:30h. CET)!

Source: Sport / Germán Bona 

 

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