Koeman speaks out on Barcelona sack: “Laporta didn’t give me the same time as Xavi”

Former Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman speaks during his official presentation at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 19, 2020.


Ronald Koeman was appointed as the manager of Barcelona by Josep Bartomeu after sacking Quique Setien in 2019. The Dutch coach then went on to win the Copa del Rey, and even came extremely close to the league title in his maiden season.

It was clear, however, that Koeman was not the coach of the new administration. Joan Laporta was never convinced by him and did not hold back some of his words when the season ended, dropping hints that he is looking for a replacement.

Eventually, Koeman was allowed to continue into the new season, but was eventually sacked after a string of poor results. Xavi took his place at the helm, and it seems the treatment the former midfielder has received did not particularly convince Koeman, who has spoken about his sack in an interview relayed by Mundo Deportivo.

They did not give me the same time as Xavi. Laporta told me a thousand times that Xavi would not be his coach, because he lacked experience, he said.

You won’t see me at the Camp Nou for a while, I cannot do that yet. With this president, I can’t pretend nothing happened, Koeman continued.

The former Netherlands coach went on to suggest that he was never given the financial backing Xavi has been given, referring to the signing made by the club in January.

I would have liked these signings as well. But I’m happy for the club, since things are going better now, and for the players. It’s nice to see Frenkie de Jong play good, old-fashioned football, he has so much quality.

Koeman also referred to the start of the season when multiple players were injured, or suffering repetitive injuries. He had to rely on the likes of Gavi, Nico, Ez Abde, Ferran Jutgla, among others to fill in for key players.

He made sure to mention the same, saying, “I was working with injuries. Now Pedri is back in shape, and also Ousmane Dembele. You can see the difference.

Lionel Messi’s departure in the summer definitely haunted the new season as Barcelona looked at the future. Koeman suggested that he had the best interest of the club in his mind when he agreed to a few departures.

The management insisted on the departure of some players to put the finances in order, and I agreed. But then you see that they pay €55 million for someone shortly after letting Messi leave.

Koeman went on to add, Then you wonder if something else was going on? Why did Messi leave.

Koeman did not hold back when asked about Laporta. He said, I was not Laporta’s coach. I had that feeling from the first moment, after the elections, there was no connection between us. There was a lack of necessary support from ‘above’.

Money was never the important thing for me. I really wanted to succeed as a coach at Barcelona, to do everything I could, but I realised Laporta wanted to get rid of me because I was not appointed by him.

Soon turning 59, Koeman said he will be looking for a new management role in the future. “I have agreed with Rob Jansen that we will see the possibilities this summer if there is something interesting, something nice.

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