After just 14 months in charge, Ronald Koeman was sacked as head coach of Barcelona following their worst start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign. The announcement came after a 1-0 LaLiga defeat at Rayo Vallecano and less than three weeks after Barcelona president Joan Laporta publicly showed his support to Koeman despite the poor performance. More international friendlies and football results here.
“FC Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach. The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano,” the club said in a statement. “Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva.” The club then thanked him for his service at Camp Nou and wished him all the best in his career.
The five-time European champions, is currently ninth in LaLiga on 15 points from 10 games so far this season. They are six points behind leaders Real Madrid, who beat them 2-1 at the Camp Nou in the first El Clasico this weekend, and are third in their Champions League group with three points from three matches after suffering 3-0 defeats in their opening two games against Bayern Munich and Benfica.
The Dutchman, who resigned from his job as the Netherlands manager in August 2020, leaves the team with a record of 39 wins, 12 draws and 16 losses in his 67 games as Barcelona manager. The only silverware under his name was the 2021 Copa del Rey, while the team finished third in La Liga last season, and were eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round of 16.
Earlier, Barcelona chief Joan Laporta ruled out the possibility of removing the then under-pressure coach in the club, stating that the club “has every confidence in him”. According to local media, former midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who is in charge of Al Sadd in Qatar, and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez are reportedly the front runners to succeed Koeman at Camp Nou.
The loss to Rayo marked the team’s fifth away match without a win, the first since the 1987-88 campaign. They have won only five matches and drew three this season. This summer Lionel Messi left the club for Paris Saint-Germain and Antoine Griezmann also moved back to Atletico Madrid. The team is now dependent on rising youngsters like Pedri, Ansu Fati and Gavi.
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