Barcelona boss, Ronald Koeman, has said that captain, Lionel Messi, told him he was fit to start against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday.

Koeman also commented on Messi’s red card against Athletic Bilbao at Seville’s La Cartuja stadium.

The Dutchman saw his team lose 3-2 to Athletic in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday night following goals from Oscar De Marcos, Asier Villalibre and Inaki Williams, as Antoine Griezmann’s brace was not enough to give Barcelona the trophy.

“I think after so many years at the top level, he [Lionel Messi] knows when he can play and when he can’t,” Koeman told a news conference after the defeat.

“I spoke with him, and he said he was fit enough to start the game [against Athletic Bilbao].”

Speaking on Messi’s red card, Koeman added, “I can understand what Messi did.

“I don’t know how many times they fouled him, and it’s normal to react when they keep trying to foul you as a player who is looking to dribble with the ball, but I need to see it again properly.”

Barcelona’s next fixture is against Cornella in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Spanish Super Cup final: What Koeman said about Messi after Athletic Bilbao defeated Barcelona

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