Lionel Messi defends Ronald Koeman over Barcelona sacking

Lionel Messi has defended Ronald Koeman over his efforts at Barcelona.

Koeman spent less than a year and a half at Camp Nou before being sacked just ahead of the last international break.

The Dutchman left Barca in eighth position in La Liga and they won just one of their first three Champions League group stage this season.

Though, context is important and Koeman was also forced to deal with a difficult time for the club, one which saw the club lose Messi, Antoine Griezmann and others while being unable to spend on replacements.

And that’s something Messi has pointed to in insisting that Koeman was hard done by over his sacking.

“It is always unfair on the coaches,” the now PSG star told Marca via Mundo Deportivo.

“It was unfair with Koeman, with Valverde…when there are bad results, it’s easiest to point at the coach, to change him and not the players.

“Koeman arrived in a very difficult moment for the club in which important players left, but he was able to bring through a lot of young players.

“As I said, it’s always easiest to blame the coach, And they also know that because it’s their profession.”

Since Koeman’s departure, Barcelona have hired Xavi Hernandez as head coach, and he won his first game in charge, defeating Espanyol.

Though, he too has a very tough job ahead, and he will be desperate to avoid following the path of Koeman, who returned to the club as a legend and saw his name somewhat tainted by his coaching efforts.

Tags FC Barcelona Lionel Messi Ronald Koeman Xavi Hernandez