The Barça board has officially ratified Ronald Koeman in the position of coach. He was in doubt because this was expressed by Joan Laporta, the president, who had blurted out to the coach that he was looking for a replacement and then took a period of “reflection”, but after the board meeting it was agreed that he should continue to lead the team . Koeman already had a contract in force, as they both insisted on remembering.
“After this period of reflection that we have taken, I want to announce that we will give continuity to Ronald Koeman. We are very satisfied that these conversations have resulted in a unity of criteria,” said Laporta, before introducing Maria Elena Fort, vice president and spokesperson of the new Barça board of directors, to announce the agreements adopted. The president returned to the floor later to explain the reasons why he kept Koeman, of whom he highlighted his “impeccable behavior” during this reflection phase they had been taken.
It is not the lack of money
And why was this reflection necessary? “To get to know each other better”, was one of the reasons given by Laporta, who wanted to be very empathetic to ensure that it was not the lack of money or immediate liquidity to compensate Koeman and hire a replacement that sustained the Dutchman’s permanence. “If Barça wants to cancel a contract in advance, it has mechanisms to do so,” replied the top Barça leader. The contract has not been extended or modified. It will end, as before, in 2022.
“It has been a period to analyze the end of last season and analyze how we faced the future and with what criteria,” insisted Laporta, also very repetitive in noting that he and the boardmates felt “very satisfied” with the result of the conversations, which have been “frank and direct.”
The president understood, or intended, to convey to him the “feeling” of Barcelona fans regarding the team. “We wanted to share criteria and find solutions,” Laporta said as an understatement. Later he admitted that there was talk of football, but not to the specific detail of claiming him to play with a 4-3-3 or another system. They were more “philosophical” questions because he understood that he could not impose or discuss a system with a coach who has been a player for Barça and the Dutch team or a coach for other teams. Nor for having been the author of the goal of the first European Cup.
The “wild card” Jordi Cruyff
Laporta, however, specified what he has asked Koeman and what he hopes to receive and see in the renewed leadership of the team: “I hope to see a more competitive Barça, with a more winning mentality and that plays more offensively. A Barça that takes care of the team. details and practice the football that we like, to have the ball and press more “.
After all, Laporta dared to assure that his relationship with Koeman has improved. “It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t deep either,” he specified. The coach has let him know that they have understood each other in all terms. This relationship will also be strengthened with the presence of Jordi Cruyff, that he signed in the morning the contract that binds him to the soccer area under the orders of Mateo Alemany. “It is very emotional because it represents the return of a Cruyff home,” said Laporta, who sees Jordi as “a wild card.” It will be a solution “to certain situations that may arise”, as a reinforcement of the decisions taken by Alemany and Koeman, but also as a possible substitute for the departure of either of the two.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.