Ronald Koeman says he wasn’t given the same amount of time as Xavi to succeed at Barcelona

Ronald Koeman says he wasn’t given the same amount of time as Xavi to succeed at Barcelona

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03 Mar 2022
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Beso
FC Barcelona

After a run of poor results, Koeman was removed from his role last October by club president Joan Laporta, with Xavi coming in from Al-Sadd to replace him.

Koeman said that it’s still too painful to consider going back to the stadium he once graced as a player

Ronald Koeman says he wasn’t given the same amount of time as Xavi Hernandez to succeed at Barcelona. After a run of poor results, Koeman was removed from his role last October by club president Joan Laporta, with Xavi coming in from Al-Sadd to replace him. And after a period of silence since his departure, the 58-year-old coach spoke to the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad to give his version of what happened at Barcelona. But he says it is still too painful to consider going back to the stadium he once graced as a player. “You won’t see me at the Camp Nou for a while; I can’t do that yet. With this president, I can’t pretend nothing happened,” said Koeman.

The Dutchman says he was working with a lot of injured players

He was particularly frustrated at not being given the same time as Xavi to mould a winning team and is clearly still confused about some of the mixed messages he saw during and after his spell at the club. “They didn’t give me the time they have given to the new coach, Xavi,” added Koeman. It is still painful for me. I was working with a lot of injured players. Now Pedri is back to fitness, and Ousmane Dembele – you can see everything falling into place. At the insistence of the club’s management, I agreed to the departure of some players to get the finances in order. But then when you see someone being brought in for 55 million euros Ferran Torres shortly after letting Lionel Messi go. It’s then you wonder if something else wasn’t going on. Why did Messi have to go?”

Laporta wanted to get rid of Koeman because he didn’t appoint him

“Every coach needs time and patience from the board. I would have liked the new signings too. But I’m happy for the club as things are going better now, and for the players. It’s nice to see Frenkie de Jong playing good old-fashioned football; he has so much quality. Laporta told me a thousand times that Xavi would not be his coach because he lacked experience. But I was not Laporta’s coach; I had that feeling from the first moment. After the elections, we didn’t click. The necessary support from above was missing. The important thing for me was not the money. I really wanted to succeed as a coach at Barcelona, to do everything I could, but I realised that Laporta wanted to get rid of me because he didn’t appoint me.”

Koeman has not taken up a new role since leaving Barcelona and appears content to enjoy some time away from football for now. “I have agreed with agent Rob Jansen that we will see the possibilities this summer if something is interesting, something nice,” he commented. “But for now, I am not worried about that at all. We will see.”

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