Henrik Larsson has spoken about the chaotic 15 months he spent at Barcelona as an assistant coach

Henrik Larsson has spoken about the chaotic 15 months he spent at Barcelona as an assistant coach

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13 Mar 2022
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Beso
FC Barcelona

The Swede, who provided two assists in Barcelona’s comeback win over Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League, joined the club’s coaching staff in August 2020 and was there during a period that included the pandemic, a change of president and Lionel Messi’s departure.

Larsson’s career at Barca was turbulent

Henrik Larsson has spoken about the chaotic 15 months he spent at Barcelona as an assistant coach, criticising club president Joan Laporta for lack of leadership in handling the sacking of Ronald Koeman. The Swede, who provided two assists in Barcelona’s comeback win over Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League, joined the club’s coaching staff in August 2020 and was there during a period that included the pandemic, a change of president and Lionel Messi’s departure. “Of course, it was turbulent,” he told reporters. “During the first season, everything went well until March, when we lost against Granada at home. After that, we felt there was less support from above after Laporta became president. And so, it continued until the summer. We went on summer holidays, and I didn’t know if I was going to continue the following season,” he added.

Messi’s departure was a tough moment for the club

Larsson also believed that Koeman was treated exceptionally unfairly when he was sacked from his position as head coach. “We had a decision on this very late. It’s a pity,” he said. “For me, it doesn’t matter too much, but to treat Ronald Koeman like that, he didn’t deserve it. After all the work we had done, the cleaning up that Ronald had done to make things possible, then I don’t think he deserved not to be told that he was going to be sacked.” The Swedish legend also mentioned how much the departure of Lionel Messi affected the group. “No one thought that Messi would leave the club, and that affected the whole squad,” Larsson said. “It was a tough moment, but as a coach, you have to try to shut out the outside noise and know that you are there to work.”

“There were days when we didn’t know if it was the last one or if we were going to continue. That could easily have been avoided, but that would have required much better leadership than Laporta showed.”

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