Riqui Puig deservingly desires first-team action after crucial spot-kick

Riqui Puig of FC Barcelona (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Riqui Puig of FC Barcelona (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Riqui Puig deserves Barcelona minutes under Ronald Koeman.

Roman Koeman made some drastic decisions when he became the head coach of Barcelona. One of those decisions was to tell young talent, Riqui Puig, that he would not be playing very often and thus should look for a loan to another club. The midfielder, however, was adamant about staying at the club and wanted to fight for his place. In Thursday’s match against Real Sociedad, he finally proved to Koeman that he deserves a place in the team after scoring the winning penalty which took them to the Supercopa de Espana final.

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After a fiercely fought match, the two teams were level with one goal each. With the teams still level after 120 minutes, excluding injury time, it was time for the dreaded penalty shootout. As everyone knows that it is key that one should keep their composure during the shootout. Confidence is the key and if one is not confident, he will miss from the spot. Riqui Puig showed extraordinary courage when he volunteered to take the last penalty.

The 21-year-old has been frozen to the bench by Koeman and many believe that it is time that he is given more playing time. He is yet to start in a single match and out of his seven appearances, he has not played for more than 30 minutes in any of them. However, he was confident and took the winning penalty to progress onto the finals.

In the post-match interview, Puig seemed quite happy with his performance. And when asked about his lack of game time, he said that he was still willing to fight for a place in the team. He showed his commitment and confidence by volunteering for the spot-kick and he was responsible enough to see it through. He said to the reporters,

"“I’m very happy to have scored the last penalty, I volunteered to take it. I shot with great conviction – you have to believe in yourself. I have never lost the desire to be in the first team and I will continue to fight for it.”“Ronald named four players to shoot the penalties. I asked for the fifth one. I’m a very happy guy, I have never lost my smile. I’m lucky, I will never give up.”Source Goal"

Koeman also seemed impressed by the young player’s determination. This winning penalty could be Puig’s golden ticket into the first team. Koeman is not the kind of person who does not support young players as he has given Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza their breakthrough into the first team. Maybe this time he will finally consider Puig as an important part of the team and give him the chance that he deserves.

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Should Puig be a starter under Koeman?