Ronald Koeman says he ‘gave Barcelona a future’ as he hits back at Joan Laporta after the club president spent two weeks in the summer looking for a new manager unsuccessfully before demanding a more exciting football game
- Ronald Koeman has claimed that he is Barcelona in pop at Joan Laporta . has saved
- The Dutch manager was left in the dark over the summer when the club wanted to replace him
- President Laporta ultimately decided to keep Koeman but set conditions
- He demanded that Koeman use a 4-3-3 formation and La Masia graduates in the field
- Koeman has not been kind to Laporta by talking too much in the media
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has claimed he saved the club as his public war of words with club president Joan Laporta continues.
The Dutch coach kept his job over the summer, but only after Laporta, who returned to the presidency in March, spent two weeks looking for a replacement.
Koeman has been promised a contract extension next summer, but only if he meets a number of conditions that Laporta sets, both on and off the field.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is not impressed with club president Joan Laporta
Laporta looked for a replacement manager in the summer, but kept Koeman . in the end
Among other things, they set out the team in a 4-3-3 formation, give La Masia graduate Riqui Puig a central role and remain calm in dealing with the media.
But that didn’t stop Koeman from dragging out grievances when he targeted Laporta in an interview with Laporta. Dutch broadcaster NOS during the weekend.
“My relationship with Laporta has improved, but something happened last week that I don’t think is right,” says Koeman.
“He suggested that the coach doesn’t have all the power. He spoke too much and was twice wise.
‘That can be done privately. I like it when a president is involved 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.’
Relationships remain icy as Koeman criticized Laporta in an interview over the weekend
Koeman pointed out that he has restored the link between the club’s storied academy and the first team by giving players like Pedri and Oscar Mingueza the chance to shine.
This has become more important than ever with Laporta’s revelation that he has inherited debts of £1.15 billion from his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Such financial pressures led to the departure of club icon Lionel Messi, who signed for Paris Saint-Germain this summer after his contract with Barcelona expired.
Spending on new signings was kept to a minimum over the summer, but headliner Memphis Depay, a free transfer from Lyon, has got off to a positive start.
One of Laporta’s demands was more playing time for La Masia graduates, such as Riqui Puig
The club president welcomes Memphis Depay’s summer signing at the Nou Camp in July
Barcelona didn’t play this weekend, but have won two and drawn one of their first three LaLiga games. They open their Champions League campaign against Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening.
Koeman is still expected to deliver an improvement from last season, when Barcelona finished third, behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, in the league and left the Champions League to PSG in the last 16.
They managed to win the Copa del Rey, but that didn’t stop Laporta from looking for a new manager before finally starting another season with Koeman.
Lionel Messi burst into tears when he left Barcelona in the summer
Certain obligations have been imposed, however, including a requirement to handle the stress of being a Barcelona manager in a more controlled manner, especially in front of the media.
There is also a requirement to stay true to the club’s Johan Cruyff-inspired playing philosophy by playing an attacking formation.
Laporta has also reportedly demanded that 22-year-old Puig be given more minutes that he has been given thus far under Koeman.