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Junior Firpo lashes out at ex-Barça manager Ronald Koeman, calls him a liar



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Junior Firpo left Barcelona this past summer after two years at Camp Nou, during which he did little of note.

Signed from Real Betis in 2019 to compete with and provide cover for Jordi Alba in the left-back slot, the 25-year-old never really got going at the club. The defender was never quite able to displace his senior partner in the side while he hardly made much of an impact on the rare occasions he was given an opportunity.

During his two years at Barca, Firpo made just 41 appearances, scoring two goals and assisting three more. A larger share of these games came in his debut season, with the left-back hardly being used by Ronald Koeman in the last season.

Indeed, Firpo featured just 18 times in 2020/21, starting just seven of those across all competitions. Now at Leeds United, the 25-year-old has hit out at the Dutchman for not giving him opportunities. He has also claimed that Koeman constantly lied to him when asked for an explanation for his lack of game-time.

Speaking to Que Thi Jugues on SER, Firpo said: “I asked Koeman for explanations why I was not playing until one day he started to lie to me. At that point, when the coach starts to lie to you, you realise they’re misleading you… Why keep asking for explanations if at the end of the day they’re going to mislead you time and again?”

Firpo then claimed that Koeman accused him of affecting the squad negatively and training poorly when pushed for an explanation.

“He lied to me because he said things that made no sense, that I was training badly, contaminating the group. Things like that. You can ask anyone at the club at the time and they will agree with me,” the Leeds United star said.

“I don’t even know what he meant by contaminating the group. I guess he was referring to my attitude. I don’t know in what sense a young player that’s just signed is going to contaminate a group of players that have won everything and spent their whole lives there.”

The former Real Betis defender also accused the ex-Barcelona boss of disrespecting him and other players in the squad by not being present during training sessions.

Firpo said: “There was a lack of respect, not just to me but to other players. I will never understand that, after a game, when the substitutes train the next day, Koeman stayed in his office while we were training.

“If I have to show to you that I deserve to play and you don’t pick me… the only way I can show that is in training. When the whole team trains it is tougher, there are a lot more of us, we do quick exercises and they’re tired after playing a game.

“The day that I have to prove I should play and want to play is the day after the game when the substitutes train hard… and you’re not there.”

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