The morning after he was fired as Barcelona’s first-team coach, Ronald Koeman said his goodbyes to his players.
Following Barça’s 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, club president Juan Laporta fired the 58-year-old Dutchman as he returned home from Madrid.
The squad is now in ninth place in La Liga and has lost two of their three Champions League group-round matches.
After a 2-1 home loss to league leaders Real Madrid at the weekend, Koeman’s resignation was largely predicted.
After a successful stint as coach of the Netherlands national men’s team, where he won qualifying for the first major tournament in six years, Koeman joined Barcelona in January 2020.
He had a condition in his contract with the Dutch football organization (KNVB) that permitted him to be released early if the club where he won the European Cup as a player in 1992 called on his services.
But, as Koeman arrived just as the club began to face the impact of years of overspending, the dream move turned into a nightmare.
To minimize the wage cost, star player Lionel Messi went for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, and Koeman had to rebuild the squad with free players like Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong.
‘FC Barcelona has removed Ronald Koeman from his duties as first-team coach,’ the club announced in a statement.
After the defeat to Rayo Vallecano, the club’s president, Joan Laporta, notified him of the decision.’