Tuesday, November 30

Early morning summit on Koeman: Pirlo emerges as an option with Xavi and Robert Martínez

Ronald Koeman during the match against Benfica.

Ronald Koeman during the match against Benfica.

As soon as you arrive at the sports city of Sant Joan Despí after the disastrous 3-0 conceded in Lisbon, the dome of Barça met in the offices. It was three in the morning. The immediate future of Ronald Koeman he was, again, on the table, eventually getting on top of the president Joan Laporta, also caught by the calendar since the team plays this Saturday in Madrid against Atlético de Suárez and Griezmann, two stars gifted by the club.

There are three candidates to succeed the Dutch. Xavi Hernandez, current coach of Al-Sadd and the leader of the sports project of Víctor Font, Robert Martínez, Belgian coach who could be dismissed from his position, upon payment of 1.8 million euros, but after the League of Nations, or Andrea Pirlo, the ex – coach of the Juventus, as revealed by Catalunya Ràdio.

Each name is a world. Xavi would mean a return to the origin seeking Laporta to clone the success he had when he opted for Guardiola In 2008, when he came from being champion of the Third Division with Barça B. Robert Martínez is the most experienced of the three options, although without so much ideological connection with ‘cruyffismo’, the philosophy that serves as a sports reference and even vital to the president.

Un Rijkaard 2.0

Pirlo, whose only experience in the elite ended badly in the Juventus (He had chained nine ‘scudettos’ until he arrived and suffered on the last day to get into the first four and reach the Champions League), it would mean a desperate search by Laporta to discover a Rijkaard 2.0. Then the Dutch coach landed on the Camp Nou after going down to Second with Sparta Rotterdam. Now, the Italian coach is unemployed after his first unsuccessful experience in Turin, which would be the easiest and cheapest way to choose Koeman’s successor.

In that talk, which lasted almost an hour, between Laporta, Mateu Alemany, football director and head of this area, Rafael Yuste, sports vice president, and Enric Masip, the president’s advisor, all scenarios were addressed. From an immediate dismissal of Koeman, which would force him to choose an interim coach to sit on the Metropolitan bench, or wait for the outcome of that clash against the champion to take advantage of the league break to make the decision to throw Koeman out and hit the new coach, although without the international players who will be with their national teams, a few days to start his project.

All eyes on Laporta

To Laporta, who already unsuccessfully wanted to Koeman in summer, they now look at him from all sides. From the environment, which demands a drastic decision from him, helplessly attending the tremendous involution of the team (two Champions League games, two defeats, 0-6 in total and a single shot on goal in 180 minutes), and from inside the club, where different currents about the future of the Dutch coexist.

Some people advocate that he be fired today; Others ask for time when time is running out. But, in the end, the decision will be solely for Laporta, now devoid of the solid sports structure that he had in his first term. Then, he was enveloped by the wise voice of Johan Cruyff connected with the daily work of Little Begiristain.

Both kept Rijkaard in his dramatic start and then bet on Guardiola when a powerful sector at that time, in the spring of 2008, Laporta preferred the Mourinho brand. Now, on the other hand, Laporta has a diffuse structure with Alemany in front, seconded by Ramon Planes as technical secretary, while Jordi Cruyff serves as director of international soccer scouting.

Therefore, everything depends more than ever on Laporta, a president who never believed in Koeman. Not when he won the only title in the last two years (the Copa del Rey) and much less now when Barça bleeds, jeopardizing his future in Europe.


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