Koeman sacked as Barcelona coach

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • Updated: October 28, 2021, 00:33 CEST
  • 3 min read
Ronald Koeman, Barcelona, Primera Division

Ronald Koeman has been sacked as head coach coach of Barcelona.

The 58-year-old was relieved of his duties on October 27, after just over a year in charge.

A 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano was his final game in charge, with Joan Laporta unhappy with Barcelona's start to the season.

After being kept on for the 2021/22 campaign, Koeman oversaw a dreadful start to the season which saw Barcelona pick up just three victories from their first eight games.

Barcelona statement:

Barcelona announced the news in this official statement: "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.

"Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva.

"FC Barcelona wishes to thank him for his service to the Club and wishes him all the best in his professional career."

Barcelona are currently ninth in La Liga, with 15 points from their opening 10 league games.

Koeman was appointed as boss of the Blaugrana ahead of the 2020/21 season, replacing the sacked Quique Setien.

However, despite winning the Copa del Rey, he endured a generally disappointing first season in charge.

Barcelona finished third in La Liga after a dismal end to the campaign during which they won just two of their last five La Liga games.

They also failed in the Champions League and were convincingly beaten in the last 16 by PSG, losing 5-2 on aggregate after being defeated 4-1 at home in the first leg.

Koeman was expected to be dismissed at the end of the 2020/21 season by president Joan Laporta, who considered possible replacements for the Dutchman.

However, in the end, Koeman survived into the new campaign.

Barcelona's difficult summer

Barcelona endured a difficult summer transfer market due to the club’s economic problems.

The Blaugrana are estimated to be €1.3 billion in debt and have had to considerably cut costs.

They were only able to sign free transfers and notably lost the legendary Lionel Messi to PSG as they were unable to afford to register his new contract.

The pressure really started to build on Koeman when they were dismantled 3-0 at home by Bayern Munich in the opening matchday of the 2021-22 Champions League.

Koeman was heavily criticised by fans for his tactics and particularly for the club’s poor performances against the bigger teams.

His time as manager was far less successful than when he was a player at the club from 1989 to 1995.

A former ball-playing defender, Koeman scored the free-kick that won Barcelona their first European Cup back in 1992.