Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has had a public battle of words with President Joan Laporta, insisting that he is the only reason the club “has a future”.
Koeman joined the club in the summer of 2020 and has overseen a period of real transition at Camp Nou, but there has always been a feeling that he’s seen more of a temporary coach by the people at the club – a feeling that Barcelona’s actions don’t have just helped.
Laporta spent two weeks looking for a replacement for Koeman over the summer before “signing up” again, and the president has since gone public to tell Koeman that he needs a new contract and sets goals for the Dutch that he has to achieve if he wants to keep his job.
Koeman was frustrated with Laporta’s willingness to speak publicly about the situation and let his tension boil in a recent interview with NOS.
“My relationship with Laporta has improved but something happened last week that I think is wrong,” he said. “He hinted that the coach doesn’t have all the power. He talked too much and was not wise twice.”
“It’s private. I like it when a president is committed and asks questions, but that shouldn’t happen in the press. That was the problem.”
“I’m open to staying. I’m just having a good time. Thanks to me, this club has a future.”
While fans haven’t always endorsed Koeman for his management and style of play, the reason he claims Barcelona’s future is his willingness to trust in young players and his attempts to revive the La Masia academy Bring relevance.
Players like Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza, Sergino Dest and Gavi have all shone under Koeman, but his greatest success story has been the rise of 18-year-old midfielder Pedri, who is already a fixture on both the club and the country.
However, Koeman’s tactical style has also made waves at times and Laporta would like to see more of the Dutchman before extending his contract beyond the end of the season.