If he Barça has been seven years without a presence in the Final
FourAt the Olimpia Milano there have been 29 no less. The Barça rival in the Cologne semifinal arrives trying to recover from a long period of disappointment, with a firm commitment to an expert squad and a first-rate coach like Ettore
The Italian coach is proud of what he has achieved. “I would like to especially thank the family Armani for his constant support, both financially and emotionally. Together we want to give this club its status in the past. At least we are very happy to be in the Final
Four”, Declared this Tuesday in Italian media in an assessment of the European season prior to the appointment of Cologne.
“This season was really challenging. There were no fans due to Covid-19, the teams were very strong ”, he stressed Messina. “Eighteen teams that made serious investments in their teams were fighting. So it has been a very challenging season. The absence of fans at the Final Four also makes things more interesting. Anything can happen at any time ”.
Regarding the semifinal against Barça, the Italian coach foresees many difficulties taking as a reference the two games played in the regular phase. “They kicked our butts twice,” he recalls. We had led most of the first match, but we collapsed in the final minutes. They played much better than us that night. They are very well organized in defense. We know our work is hard, but I think we had a great season. We beat very, very good teams this season. We came off a tough streak with Bayern. If we want to beat Barcelona, we must improve. We are at a good level at the moment, but that alone will not be enough. “
Messina also spoke about Pau
Gasoline, with whom he coincided in a recent stage at the San Antonio Spurs: “He is an NBA champion. He won it all with the national team. He is a great leader, an incredibly talented player. Of course, he does not have the athletic ability of 15-20 years ago. But he is definitely a player who can lead and stay calm in critical moments. It sure makes Barcelona stronger ”.
The technician of Catania, four times champion of Europe Before his NBA adventure, he is highly motivated to green his laurels, now with another team: “If we win the trophy, our dreams will come true. However, we have to go step by step. This is what I said after the playoffs. It is very important that we are an organization that shows up here every year. When you stay in the playoffs, your chances of staying in the Final Four also increase. Anything can happen after being in the Final
Four. But if you stay out of the playoffs for 10 years, you won’t be successful. “