Since being fired by Joan Laporta, former Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has been conducting interviews nonstop, mostly firing shots at his former employee.
The two were obviously at odds, and the Dutchman has made no secret of his disappointment and, for the most part, his ire against Barca’s president, Laporta.
After the winter World Cup, Koeman will take over as head coach of the Netherlands, but in the interim, he has enough free time in his hands to speak freely about Barcelona.
While Koeman was discussing the transfer rumors linking Barca and Robert Lewandowski via Catalunya Radio, the Dutchman openly expressed his opposition to the potential deal which might cost Barcelona up to €60 million.
In making his submission, coach Koeman took note of Lewandowski’s age which he miscalculated as being 35 instead of 33.
“Lewandowski is a great player, a guaranteed scorer, but he is a certain age…35? I have my doubts about paying €50-60 million for him, in addition to the salary. He might have two good years of football left in him, but I’m hesitant about signing him,” Koeman lamented.
Ronald Koeman who used Frenkie de Jong as an attacking number eight while he was the coach of the club, was questioned about the player’s status and the exit rumors concerning his fellow countryman, to which he responded that D Jong does not plan to leave Barcelona this summer.
Ronald Koeman said: “All I know is that Frenkie wants to stay at Barcelona. He said a couple of days ago that he wants to stay. What I don’t know is if Barça want to sell Frenkie or need the money because he is one of the few players they can get a high fee for. For me, Frenkie is a great player for Barça.”
So far, Koeman’s interview has been rather simple, but he made some rather offensive comments about Barcelona’s customs and fashion.
“I am in favout of dominating matches. If you play with three centre-back and five defenders, you can’t say it’s a defensive system,” he said.
“With this system, for three or four months, we played the best games in recent years. The clearest example was the Copa del Rey final against Athletic. Barça live in the past with their 4-3-3 and tiki-taka. Football is faster…more physical. You can’t live in the past.”
As was to be expected, the talk turned to Joan Laporta. Evidently, Koeman is not over the president’s public criticism of him, and he discussed the same:
“A president can always doubt his coach from inside the club. But these doubts came out in the media, and that was a big mistake on his part. I lived through a very complicated tenure, a time without a president. Then Laporta’s doubts.”
“It was a bit of a relief leaving Barcelona.”
“They took Messi away from me. It was a very hard blow,” he said as the interview came to an end.
What happened to Koeman at Barcelona
Following a 1-0 LaLiga loss against Rayo Vallecano in October 2021—Barcelona’s third loss in their previous four league games—coach Ronald Koeman was fired.
It was heard that the club spoke with former player and captain Xavi Hernandez about the opening that week after Koeman was fired.
After a string of disappointing performances leading up to the October 2021 international break, Koeman’s position had been significantly damaged. The week’s back-to-back losses to Real Madrid and Rayo proved to be the turning point.
The 58-year-old departed Barca in ninth place in the league, missing the knockout round of the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, and the team was unable to win an away game in any competition throughout the previous season under his watch.