Ronald Koeman sacked by Barcelona

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Ronald Koeman has been sacked as Barcelona head coach after 14 months in charge.

After weeks of speculation, Koeman’s final game on Wednesday night was a 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, their fourth loss in six games in all competitions.

A brief statement was published on the club’s website confirming that President Joan Laporta had relieved the Dutchman of his duties as first-team coach.

It added: “Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva.

“FC Barcelona would like to thank him for his service to the club and wish him all the best in his professional career.”

Pressure on the Dutchman has increased since a 3-0 defeat to Benfica at the end of September, leading the club to their worst-ever start to a Champions League campaign this season.

They succumbed to a 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in La Liga on October 2, with former striker Luis Suarez scoring the second goal at the Metropolitano Stadium, trailing leaders Real Madrid by six points in the league table.

Their 2-1 loss to Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on October 24 was Koeman’s third El Clasico defeat in a row, and after the final whistle, the Barcelona boss was targeted by a crowd of fans who attacked his car as he tried to drive away. from the stadium.

After Wednesday’s defeat, Koeman said: “It is [Barcelona’s league position] says we are not well.

“The team has lost balance in the squad, lost very effective players, which you can see. In recent years, other clubs have gotten stronger every season and we haven’t, which you can see.”

Koeman was appointed last August and led Barcelona to third place in La Liga in his first campaign, winning the Copa del Rey.

But he struggled in his second season after the departure of Lionel Messi, who left as a free agent in the summer to join Paris Saint-Germain with financial difficulties that prevented Barcelona from paying his wages.

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