The cards on the table, next to the plates. Joan Laporta and Ronald Koeman, Accompanied by Rafa Yuste, the sports vice president, they exchanged opinions and information about the Barça of the future. The diagnosis of the team is essential for the reconstruction that the dressing room demands, regardless of whether a miracle may occur and Barça is capable of unseating Atlético, overtaking them when they are four points behind with six to be played.
The president and the coach can take the full X-ray with sufficient evidence. Laporta has observed the performance of the team and the players and the management made by the coach and has shared his feelings with him.
Koeman has transferred to the president the analysis that he makes of his pupils and of his own work with the wickers they gave him. The cold balance, purely descriptive, is that Barça has been Cup champion, he was knocked out in the Champions League and fights the League until the end, after wasting opportunities to say the last word.
In the restaurant where they had lunch, an old fiefdom in which on many occasions he dispatched Jose Luis Nunez matters such as those that Laporta, Koeman and Yuste dealt with yesterday, decision-making is subject to several uncertain factors. None were announced, of course. Not even the continuity of the coach. Although he has a contract in force until 2022, the permanence on the bench is not taken for granted.
Xavi renews and is discarded
What can be taken for granted is that his hypothetical replacement will not be Xavi Hernández. The former Barça player made it known together with him Al Sadd from Qatar the renewal of the contract until 2023 after several weeks in which the announcement was delayed waiting to see the drift of events in Barcelona. If Koeman is relieved of duty, the new tenant on the bench will be another coach. In the shortlist of possible candidates appeared the name of Jordi Cruyff, who works in the Shenzen of China.
“You can ask everything, I won’t answer you,” Koeman said at the exit of the restaurant where he met Laporta for lunch. He was the first to arrive. The exit was not so smooth. “This is like the ’92 Champions final,” Yuste joked as the three tried to reach the car amid a tumult of journalists and television cameras. “It was a very quiet meeting,” Laporta mused.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.