New FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has, for the first time, commented on Lionel Messi after the superstar's transfer saga.
The Dutchman, who took over from Quique Setien last month, has been tasked with revamping an ageing squad.
He experienced his first Barca crisis almost immediately when Messi announced he wanted to leave the Blaugrana, before ultimately making a U-turn on his decision because the club did not want to let him depart for free.
With the Argentine having returned to training this week, Koeman has now broken his silence on the 33-year-old.
"It's great, everyone knows he's the best player in the world, so to have that player in your team is exceptional," Koeman told the club's official website on Friday, speaking for the first time since the Messi saga began.
"For us, it's now very important to have Leo in the best conditions to play, there's no question about his quality and it's fantastic that he'll be part of the season with Barcelona, everyone is really happy about that."
Check out some images of Messi in team training with Barcelona below:
Koeman also addressed his first two weeks with his new squad, praising his players for their work ethic.
"They've been very positive. We're two weeks in and the players are working very well," he added.
"There is a good level of intensity in training, first of all with the fitness side in the opening weeks, and now with tactics.
"The players have shown a lot of spirit, interest and intensity, and that is the most important thing, because, for me, you have to train how you play.
"It's very important and I am very happy with the work that the team have done over these two weeks."
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