September 23, 2020

Koeman, new coach of Bara – La Provincia


Ronald Koeman returns to the Camp Nou. Now, as coach of the Barça after being the ‘Wembley hero’ after scoring in the 111th minute the goal that gave the club its first European cup in 1992 with Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’. The Barça club has had, as revealed by the newspaper ‘La Vanguardia’, that pay between four and five million euros to release him from his commitment to the Dutch national team. In less than 24 hours, Barça has experienced a sports revolution with the dismissal first of Quique Setién, the coach, and then Eric Abidal, the technical secretary. It will be presented this afternoon at the Camp Nou Auditorium.

Koeman returns, the coach chosen by President Josep Maria Bartomeu in his last desperate attempt to pilot a rebuilding team which ended in Lisbon last Friday when Bayern Munich inflicted a scandalous result (2-8), that will remain in the black history culé.

Hence, the leader has chosen the route of urgency by paying that amount to the Dutch federation to be able to present Koeman, the last bullet left in his final months in office. She landed on Tuesday afternoon at El Prat airport on a private flight from Holland to close the final details of the agreement.

Open the box

A novel agreement because no one had paid for a coach before, something that did, for example, Madrid for Pellegrini (four million to Villarreal) and for Mourinho (eight million to Inter). Although the Barça club argues that it will be Koeman who renounces part of his salary to allocate it to compensation with the Dutch team.

In Barça, it had not happened neither with Johan Cruyff (1988-1996) nor with Bobby Robson (1996-1997). Nor by Louis van Gaal (1997-2000). All three were hired by the then president Josep Lluís Núñez at zero cost. Nor did Joan Gaspart pay anything for Llorenç Serra Ferrer (2000-01) or Carles Rexach (2001-02) or for the return in a brief and sad second stage of Van Gaal (2002-03). Not for the short-lived Radomir Antic (2003).

Laporta did not pay a single euro for Frank Rijkaard (2003-08) and Pep Guardiola (2008-2012). Neither Sandro Rosell by Tito Vilanova (2012-13) nor Tata Martino (2013-14). Until now, Bartomeu had followed that same path of not investing money in the signing of a coach. Neither with Luis Enrique (2014-17), nor with Valverde (2017-20), nor with Quique Setién, of course, (2020). But to bring Koeman, he did have to open the box.

The ‘Wembley hero’ returns, at 57, to put order in a club that has lost its way. He will sign for two seasons.

That is, until 2022, but subject to what the new president decides next summer after Bartomeu set the elections for March 2021, elections to which the current president cannot appear after exhausting his second and last term.

New order at the Camp Nou

Koeman will be accompanied by Alfred Schreuder, who will be his second coach at the Camp Nou, a task he had already carried out with Ten Hag at Ajax and whose last job was to coach Hoffenheim. I was seventh in the Bundesliga, but he was fired for discrepancies in sports planning. Now, he will form a tandem with Koeman at the Camp Nou, who landed on Tuesday afternoon at El Prat airport on a private flight from Amsterdam.

Too Koeman has planned to get Henrik Larsson back, the former Swedish striker who played for Barça de Rijkaard (2004-2006) where he played a prominent role in the final of the Paris Champions League, the second for the club. Larsson, who shares a manager with Koeman (Rob Jansen), was the one who gave the 1-1 assist to Etoo and then also assisted Belletti in the decisive 2-1.

From Tata to Ronald

After signing a season without winning a single title, something that had not happened since 2008, when Guardiola arrived, precisely, Barça puts itself in the hands of Koeman. In your hands to order a club that doesn’t know where it’s going, unable to make its mark on Europe. His last Champions League dates back to 2015 with Luis Enrique and the trident Messi-Suárez- Neymar.

Bartomeu is delivered to Koeman, aware of the symbolic value of his figure and because he failed, both in January and now, in his desire to recruit Xavi for the culé bench. He is the fifth coach of the current president in his six years in office. He inherited in January 2014 the bet of Tata Martino, who was chosen by Sandro Rosell after the cancer suffered by Tito Vilanova, bet six months later on Luis Enrique, the coach who has lasted the longest. From 2014 to 2017.

Then, Ernesto Valverde arrived (2017-January 2020) and then the fleeting passage of Setién (barely seven months) as a prologue for Koeman, who not only must put order in the club, starting with the dressing room, ready to undertake a profound remodeling of the squad, affecting several ‘sacred cows’, but it must also seek to get closer to the Barça football ideology, from which so much has been taking off in recent years.

Now, the ‘Koeman era’ begins, a radically new project, where Abidal, the technical secretary, is not even there, who has been fired after only two years in office. The Dutch coach will be the head of the sports area, forced to promote a team that had become extinct in Europe. And to start, he will not be able to count on Marc André Ter Stegen, who has undergone surgery on Tuesday to be operated on for a right knee injury, which will take him two and a half months out.

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