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Barcelona Fires Coach Ronald Koeman after Poor Start to Season

Associated Press

Last Updated: October 28, 2021, 07:46 IST

BARCELONA

Ronald Koeman was sacked as Barcelona coach (Twitter)

Ronald Koeman was sacked as Barcelona coach (Twitter)

Ronald Koeman was sacked as coach of Barcelona after losing to Rayo Vallecano left the club ninth in La Liga.

After another poor performance and yet another loss, Ronald Koeman couldn’t hang on any longer as Barcelona coach.

The Catalan club announced Koemans shortly after the team’s 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish league on Wednesday.

The loss followed a 2-1 home defeat against rival Real Madrid in the Clasico at the Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday.

Club president Joan Laporta informed the Dutch coach of his decision following Wednesday’s match.

Koeman had been under constant pressure after a poor start to the team’s first season without Lionel Messi in nearly two decades. The Argentina star joined Paris Saint-Germain in August.

Barcelona said Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday.

He leaves with the club in ninth place in the Spanish league standings with 15 points from 10 matches.

Among the teams five losses this season were 3-0 results in the Champions League against Bayern Munich at home and at Benfica.

The loss to Rayo marked the teams fifth away match without a win, something that hadn’t happened to the club in nearly two decades.

Barcelona won five matches and drew three this season under the Dutch coach who took over shortly after the teams embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern in the Champions League last year. His only title with the Catalan club was last season’s Copa del Rey.

Koeman had been publicly at odds with Laporta, though the club had recently expressed its support for the coach, including after he was harassed by a small group of fans outside the stadium after the home loss to Madrid last weekend.

Koeman had also upset some of his players after saying Barcelona would not realistically contend for much this season as it continued to deal with serious financial difficulties.

The club also lost Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid and was relying mostly on youngsters who have been hastily promoted from its youth squads.

A replacement to Koeman was not immediately announced.

The teams next match is Saturday at home against relegation-threatened Alavs in the Spanish league.

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first published:October 28, 2021, 04:33 IST
last updated:October 28, 2021, 07:46 IST