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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman insists that his side heads into El Clasico with ‘no fear’

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman claimed that his team "has no fear" despite visiting Real Madrid on Sunday in the first El Clasico of the season. After a difficult summer, Chairman Joan Laporta admitted that the club’s debt exceeds 1 billion, and therefore may not be able to retain Lionel Messi after the contract expires. The problems outside the stadium seem to extend to the stadium.

Currently ranked seventh in the La Liga standings and a far lead in the Champions League group, facing a Madrid team that has won the last three league games, the prospects looks daunting. In fact, given the exaggeration surrounding one of the most iconic games in world football, a loss may lead to more questions about the position of Koeman in charge.

However, speaking ahead of the game, the former Everton and Southampton manager talked of the collective excitement which his young team share ahead of Sunday’s meeting, which kicks off at 15:15pm BST. He had also said "We are very excited and looking forward to Sunday. I told the players that they need to enjoy the environment that we will have in Camp Nou. It’s not an additional pressure. We have to go out there and be fearless.

“There is no fear from our side. I think we both have a good mix of youth and experience. We are better in ball possession and they are very dangerous counter attacking.We have to be aware of their speed when we lose possession and we need to be effective when we have the chance to score. In a game like this, we can’t afford to miss opportunities.”

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Barcelona El Clasico Joan Laporta Lionel Messi Real Madrid


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