Ronald Koeman, the former FC Barcelona coach assured this Thursday, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper ‘Algemeen Dagblad’, that President Joan Laporta told him “a thousand times that Xavi would not be his coach because he lacked experience, but he needed a shield, someone to hide behind”.
“The previous president, Bartomeu, offered me a one-year contract because the following year a new president would be elected. I refused, I wasn’t going to leave the Netherlands team because of such an uncertain and short commitment, so they offered me two years, but Laporta wanted to get rid of me anywaybecause he was not the one who appointed me,” Koeman said.
Ronald Koeman and his doubts
“They didn’t give me the time they gave the new coach, Xavi. I still find it painful. He was dealing with a lot of injuries, but now Pedri is fit again, Dembélé… You can see everything”Koeman affirmed in the interview that was known this Thursday.
For the Dutchman, Xavi suffered injuries to important players at the start and a squad that wasn’t big enough: “Every coach needs time and patience from the management. Xavi understood that, and received reinforcements. They have signed three attackers (Ferran Torres, Adama Traoré and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang), I would have liked that”.
On the other hand, Koeman harshly criticized Laporta’s decision to allow Argentine Leonel Messi to leave last summer. “It was at the insistence of the club’s management that I agreed to the departure of some players, to put the finances in order. But when you then see that they sign someone for 55 million (Ferran Torres) shortly after letting Messi go… Then you wonder if there won’t be more. Why did Messi have to leave?”, he commented.
The former Blaugrana coach indicated that he did “what he had to do” during his time on the bench at the Camp Nou and does not think he has made any mistakes other than “having thought too often of the interest of the club and not of mine”.
Koeman commented that he was fired in a one and a half minute phone conversation. “If they really thought I was a Barcelona legend, they should have treated me differently. The lack of respect has hurt me.” counted. However, the Dutchman assured that Barcelona “will always be” his club and did not rule out the possibility of one day working for the Blaugrana team again.
“There is no point in looking back with resentment or burning all boats,” he concluded.
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