Ronald Koeman has opened up about the problems he faced during his spell as coach of Barcelona. The Dutchman was relieved of his duties at Camp Nou last October and quickly replaced by Xavi Hernandez after a season-and-a-bit in charge of the Catalan club.
Koeman has claimed that the problem at Barcelona was never his relationship with his players, as was the case in a previous stint in charge of Valencia. The issue instead came when Joan Laporta was appointed as president – he publicly doubted Koeman and never gave the Dutchman his full support. It’s something that still clearly rankles Koeman.
“I think it was worse in Valencia,” Koeman told Esports 3 as carried by Marca. “There were more problems in the dressing room. At Barcelona the dressing room was never a problem, never. When you have 24 or 25 players there are always going to be some who aren’t happy but, in general, the dressing room wasn’t against the coach. We actually worked well together. The problem was when the president came. A president or technical director can doubt the coach. The problem is that it came out in the press.”
Barcelona’s last piece of silverware came under Koeman, when they beat Athletic Club 4-0 at La Cartuja to win the Copa del Rey. They finished third in La Liga in 2020/21, his only full season in charge of the club. Atletico Madrid won La Liga that season and Real Madrid finished ahead of Barcelona in second. Barcelona finished second under Xavi this season.