In seven years he had not fired a coach. In the seven years of his first term, Joan Laporta kept Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola. Now he has had to fire, and at dawn, on the plane back to Barcelona, he fired Ronald Koeman. The president of Barça negotiates with Xavi and introduces, in the meantime, Sergi Barjuan, the interim coach of the Barça club.
“I always said that one day Xavi will coach Barça. I already told him in his day, I trust the people around me who follow the evolution of Xavi and other coaches. I have a very good personal relationship with him “, has said. “We will see, we will see … We will see how everything evolves. I speak with him often, my opinion is very good. I have never changed my speech with Xavi. I always said that I would be a Barça coach.”
With the League underway, this Saturday Alavés arrives at the Camp Nou with the Catalans occupying ninth place, far from Europe, and the Champions at stake because on Tuesday he will play in Kiev without any margin for error. One stumble and Xavi could come out of the European aristocracy. It is the turn, therefore, of Sergi. “The situation was untenable. We thought that if we did not act it could be a significant drain on the aspirations of this season,” Laporta said of Koeman’s dismissal.
“I have not followed Al-Sadd. But the reports I have of him are very good. I have seen Barça matches together, he from Qatar and I here. All the reports are positive. He has started recently and does not have a route. very broad. Allow me to keep the reserve, there is Xavi’s name, but Barça have other options. ”
“At Barça there are no transition years. Possibly he should have made Koeman’s decision earlier. I had doubts, it is public and notorious”
That is why he fired the Dutchman and bets on the Al-Sadd coach, albeit with a message: “In Barça there are no transition years“, he commented, recalling that” I have been talking to Xavi during the electoral campaign and at this time because communication has never been cut off. ”
In that aspect, has justified his decision to keep Koeman, assuming, yes, that he could be wrong. “Possibly he should have made the decision. I had doubts, it is public and notorious. I opted for that decision to give him margin. Now at this point, I should have done it before. He deserved that margin. It was a margin of respect for the person. , to the character, “he said about Koeman.
“We understand that it is not easy, but we are alive in the League, alive in the Champions League, the Copa del Rey will be played … Sergi will sit on the bench until we close the new coach. They will understand that you keep the reserve of the options we have, “he stressed, at all times, indicating” the friendship relationship “he has with Xavi.” My opinion is good, very good. More performance should be obtained from this team that we have “It must be more competitive. Sergi will sit on the bench in Kiev.”
“We must get more performance from this team that we have, it must be more competitive”
“If you have not followed Koeman, it is because of the results “, Laporta said, accompanied by Sergi in his debut as interim Barça coach. “We highly value his decision, he is a club man. He has the experience to do this type of work, he deserves all the confidence in us “, Laporta commented, indicating that” we want to do things without haste because rushing is bad counselors “regarding the choice of the new coach.
“Barça’s style is genuine and non-negotiable. I don’t think it has been lost, but it has moved away a bit. We want to recover the essences”
The president has admitted that Barça “has moved away” from its football model. Hence the need to look for a coach who recovers those ideas of attacking in the search for “game and results”. Barça requires a fundamentalist coach in that model. “Barça’s style is genuine and non-negotiable. I don’t think it has been lost, but it has moved away a bit. We want to recover the essences. Football evolves and the coaches are more versatile. At Barça we like to have the ball and have depth Cruyff showed them to us. ”
When asked by Xavi, Laporta started by being very careful. Extremely careful. “I will keep the options we have in reserve. They would not act as professionals and everything that the football team is doing could be harmed ”, the leader stressed without citing the name of the Al-Saad coach.
“I have private conversations with Xavi that I cannot reveal“Laporta commented, indicating that in these talks the Al-Sadd coach knows where the team can improve from the next few days.
“What do I think of Xavi as a coach? It is in an interesting process, evolving very well, I have very good references, I talk to him very often. Three months or two ago when we gave this margin of confidence to Koeman, we had to give it to him… .. I have a friendly relationship with Xavi, I know his opinion about the team we have and the things that should be done. My opinion of Xavi is good, very good ”, he commented after addressing, already directly, the future of the new coach.
“We had entered into a very dangerous drift because we could disengage from everything. We hope it will serve as motivation and allow the team to come back”
n around Koeman’s settlement, the leader did not want to give many details either. “The relationship with Koeman is fine, at least on our part. We communicate it with all respect, he understands our effort to give him a margin of confidence. The situation was untenable, it is soccer law. Termination? It is going well, it is going well, we will respect the rights of both parties ”, he said about the 12 million euro settlement that is owed to Koeman after the dismissal.
“We had already calculated what this would mean for the club. The general manager worked to have this problem resolved. The amount? I keep the reserve, but it is important. I maintain confidentiality,” the manager admitted. “We will solve it satisfactorily for both parties“, has added.
“Equally yes. Possibly yes this decision arrives this afternoon. Now seen the seen the same yes. The same it had to have decided before”, has admitted the president about his delay in dispensing with Koeman. “We had entered into a very dangerous drift because we could disengage from everything. We hope it will serve as motivation and allow the team to come back.”
In that sense, Laporta He said that “the squad is good, although it can be improved and compensated more”, but it has not been possible to get the proper performance. “Ronald has tried, he has tried. With the injured he will surely improve. In the League there is nothing clear,” said the Barça president, “assuming responsibility” for keeping the Dutchman.
He recalled that “Jordi Cruyff, due to the relationship he has with Koeman, had never been postulated as a possibility”, so they did not consider him sitting on the bench at the Camp Nou. Hence, the choice of Sergi, waiting for Xavi to arrive at the Camp Nou.