There was a time when young midfielder Riqui Puig had the world at his feet. After impressing under Quique Setien, the central midfielder was bound for greatness, with his 10/10 display against Atletico Madrid in 2020 being the case in point.
Destiny, however, had something else planned for the young midfielder and the post-Setien era hasn’t really been kind to him, to say the very least.
In August 2020, when Ronald Koeman arrived, Puig was expected to be the pivot of Dutchman’s blueprint, but that, unfortunately, wasn’t to be. The 22-year-old’s stocks diminished to the extent that he became one of the most unwanted commodities, and reports even claimed Koeman wanted to get rid of him in the summer of 2021.
To be fair, it’s no secret that Puig wasn’t in the good books of Koeman. In fact, during his final days as Barcelona boss, the young midfielder failed to get even a single minute of opening three games despite the fact that the team was struggling with injuries coupled with the lacklustre form of the others.
Lack of minutes at such young age could rightly leave someone cold, but Puig decided to stay, resulting in him spending most of his Koeman-era on the bench rather than getting minutes on the field.
Media reports claim the relationship between Puig and Koman was never good, but the latter, as one can understand, always denied. But a little excerpt from the third episode in the third season of Koeman’s documentary all but confirmed the rift.
Following the sacking, which took place in October 2021, his son, Tim Koeman, visited a game with his friends where he was heard as saying, “If Riqui Puig starts, we are all going home again.”
This goes on to show that despite the constant denial, the relationship was, in fact, terrible between to two.
Source: Força Koeman (Ronald Koeman documentary)