Former Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has been on an interview spree since being sacked by Joan Laporta. The two were evidently not on the best of terms, and the Dutchman has not hidden his disappointment, and for the large part, anger against the president.
Koeman is set to coach the Netherlands national team again after the winter World Cup, but until then, has chosen to spend his time speaking about Barcelona.
Speaking to Catalunya Radio, Koeman spoke about the Robert Lewandowski rumours, not hiding his aversion to the deal that could cost Barcelona up to €60 million. He also got Lewa’s age incorrect.
“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 hesistant about signing him,” Koeman said.
Frenkie de Jong’s best spell at Barcelona came under Ronald Koeman, who deployed him as an 8 who attacked the box. Being compatriots, Koeman was asked to comment on his situation and exit rumours, to which he replied:
“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.”
While his interview was pretty straightforward so far, Koeman commented on Barcelona’s style and traditions, which was rather distasteful.
“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,” Koeman continued.
Predictably, the subject of the conversation shifted to Joan Laporta. Koeman is evidently not over the president openly criticising him, probably rightly so, and talked about 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.”
Finally, Koeman said, “They took Messi away from me. It was a very hard blow.”, before concluding the interview.