At noon on Thursday (September 30), during the voting for the Aldo Rovira award held at the Roma Room at the Nou Camp, Joan Laporta and Rafael Yuste were present, respectively president and vice president. President of Barça.
During that lunch, Laporta expressed his anger after Barca’s defeat in Portugal (losing to Benfica 0-3) and bluntly stated that the relationship with Ronald Koeman was irreparable. In addition, he also expressed frustration when he learned about the starting line-up: it was a three-man defense and the ‘children’ on the bench.
And of course, all the media came to the conclusion that: The match against Atletico Madrid will be the last time Koeman appears on the bench of Barca. Even the president and the board members planned in the board meeting about the appointment of a new head coach at Barca.
Barca lost 0-3 to Benfica in the European Cup
But the surprise happened on Friday night (October 1), after all the press and social media had reported on Koeman’s ‘beheading’. Then Laporta thought it would be more appropriate if he called Koeman up and had a long conversation with him about the state of the team, the results to be achieved and also the number of games remaining.
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Koeman was initially taken aback by the call because on the flight back from Lisbon after the Benfica game, he and Laporta hadn’t said a word to each other even though they were sitting only a row apart. They have decided to meet on Saturday morning (October 2) in Ciutat Esportiva before Barca catch another flight to Madrid to play Atletico.
After the conversation, Laporta understood that he should provide an explanation to the members of the board of directors because most of these people woke up Saturday morning thinking that Koeman was going to be fired. The communication between the president of Barca and his directors was done through a group chat on WhatsApp.
Barca president Laporta still believes in Koeman
In the announced message, Laporta will speak to the media in Madrid before telling the board of the decision that “Koeman deserves some credit” and that “Koeman loves Barca and is a character that is not Barca’s controversy”. Laporta also emphasized in WhatsApp that Koeman “takes seriously the responsibility of leading the team through an extremely difficult time both on the pitch and in external problems.”
Laporta wanted his message to help keep executives from being surprised when he changed his mind about Koeman’s future in the media.