Koeman wants more respect from Barcelona

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May 22, 2021
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    Ronald KoemanRonald Koeman made 264 appearances as a player for Barcelona in the 1990s, scoring the winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final at Wembley

    Manager Ronald Koeman says he has been disrespected by the Barcelona board and the media amid continued speculation about his future.

    Local media claims former Barca player Xavi Hernandez could replace the Dutchman, with club president Joan Laporta admitting earlier this week that there may be changes this summer.

    "You need to respect your coach and players more," said Koeman.

    "In the last part of the season I've not felt the support of the club."

    Koeman added: "Things have come out in the press. They don't deserve that kind of treatment, things should be done differently.

    "I know there's a lot of pressure here and I accept this, but sometimes I think in this country there's much more of a culture with the media getting involved with a coach's future, which I think is disrespectful."

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    Koeman succeeded Quique Setien as Barcelona boss in August 2020 on a two-year deal after stepping down from his role as Netherlands coach.

    He led them to success in the Copa del Rey in April, but they go into the final weekend of the La Liga season in third place behind rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and guaranteed to finish outside the top two for the first time since 2007-08.

    They were also well beaten by Paris St-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while there is continued uncertainly over the future of star striker Lionel Messi, who is out of contract in the summer and has yet to agree a new deal.

    When asked about his own future, Koeman said: "I don't know if I will continue as coach, to be honest. I've not spoken with the president.

    "I know we need to make changes in order to win trophies and if that means a new coach or players then fine; but it needs to be communicated."

    'Barca divided about Koeman future'

    Spanish football expert Guillem Balague says the Barcelona board are divided about whether to change their manager this summer and that uncertainty is having a negative impact on the players.

    Speaking on the Football Daily podcast, Balague said: "Quite clearly there are two facts. One: Joan Laporta doesn't fancy the idea of keeping Koeman. And two: even though he has known for a while he was going to be president Laporta could have prepared the way for a next one [manager], but he hasn't, not yet. Add to that I don't think he particularly fancies Xavi Hernandez yet as manager.

    "There was a meeting between Laporta and Koeman last week, they talked for two-and-a-half hours. You imagine that his future would have been discussed.

    "There is a division of the board about what should come next. That's why there were rumours of Hansi Flick, or even Frank Rijkaard.

    "Koeman feels weakened by the whole thing and the players feel there is no authority in the changing room, with no clear idea of what to do next.

    "Because what comes next is another year of transition and no-one wants to say it yet."

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