‘Ronald Koeman Didn’t Deserve Such Treatment’

Former USA ’94 semi-finalist Henrik Larsson will forever be a club legend at FC Barcelona for his short, two-year cameo that was central to the their success in the mid-2000s

Arriving in 2004 on Frank Rijkaard’s watch, the Swede won two La Liga titles and the Champions League crown in 2006 in Catalonia after coming off the bench around the hour mark against Arsenal in the final in Paris and helping lead a 2-1 comeback that saw Barca the kings of the continent for the first time since 1992.

The hero of the win that year at Wembley against Sampdoria was one Ronald Koeman, who scored the winning free kick of the tie. And as the Dutchman’s assistant, Larsson returned to Camp Nou as the Dutchman’s assitant but has been left unhappy at how the manager was treated before being dismissed to make way for current tactician Xavi Hernandez.

“During the first season everything went well until March, when we lost against Granada at home,” Larsson recalled to Swedish Fotbollskanalen. “After that we felt that there was less support from above, after [Joan] Laporta became president. And so it continued until the summer. We went on vacation summer and I didn’t know if I was going to continue the following season,” Larsson added, with Lionel Messi’s departure to Paris Saint German also a motive for how things were “turbulent”.

“We had a decision about it very late,” Larsson said as per their October dismissal. “It’s a shame. For me it doesn’t matter too much, but treating Ronald Koeman like that , he didn’t deserve it. After all the work we had done, the cleaning [out] that Ronald had done to make things possible, I don’t think he deserved not to be told (that they were going to kick him out),” explained the former forward.

Larsson also thinks that Koeman deserves more credit for the gems he uncovered that are now thriving under Xavi, and in some cases Luis Enrique’s senior Spain national team.

“There were many players that Koeman/we promoted to the first team. Pedri, Gavi, Nico [González], players who will be great for Barcelona in the future. Ronald did a fantastic job of giving young players a chance. He has given the Barcelona a good base on which to build”, Larsson concluded.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2022/03/13/larsson-attacks-barcelona-koeman-didnt-deserve-such-treatment/