Ronald Koeman’s former assistant at Barcelona Henrik Larsson has spoken out about the treatment received by the Dutchman, saying he got a raw deal from Joan Laporta.
Like Koeman himself, Larsson is much beloved for his time at Barcelona as a player, where he helped to deliver a second Champions League for the club.
Speaking to Swedish Fotballskanalen, Larsson pointed out that everything was going more or less well until Joan Laporta showed up.
“During the first season everything was going well until March, when we lost to Granada at home. After that we felt less support from above, after Laporta became President. And it continued like that until the summer. We went on holiday and we didn’t know if we were going to continue after that.”
It was widely reported at the time that Joan Laporta was looking for a replacement for Koeman, asking the Dutchman to give him some time to do so. After being unable to find a different candidate, Koeman kept his job.
“We only a got a decision very late on. It’s a shame. It’s not that important to me, but to treat Ronald Koeman like that, he didn’t deserve it.”
“After all the work we did, the clean up that Ronald was doing to make things possible, hence I think it was unfair not to be told [that he was going to be sacked].”
Larsson also opened up about the exit of Lionel Messi, with the quotes carried by Marca, which was a bitter blow as Barcelona prepared for the new season.
“Never did we think that Messi would leave the club and that affected the whole squad. It was a hard moment, but as a manager you have to try and shut out the outside noise and know that you are there to work.”
“There were days in which we didn’t know if it would be our last or if we were going to continue. This could have been easily avoided, but that would have required much better leadership than what Laporta showed.”