MADRID, SPAIN – OCTOBER 27: Ronald Koeman, head coach of FC Barcelona looks on before the La Liga Santander match between Rayo Vallecano and FC Barcelona at Campo de Futbol de Vallecas on October 27, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.
Denis Doyle | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Ronald Koeman has been sacked as head coach of Barcelona after 14 months in charge.
After weeks of speculation, Koeman’s final game was the 1-0 defeat by Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Wednesday night, their fourth defeat in six games in all competitions.
A brief statement was released on the club’s website confirming 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 wishes to thank him for his service to the club and wishes him all the best in his professional career.”
Pressure had been building on the Dutchman since a 3-0 defeat at Benfica in late September, which made this season the club’s worst-ever start to a Champions League campaign.
They succumbed to a 2-0 away loss to Atletico Madrid in La Liga on October 2, with former forward Luis Suarez scoring the second goal at the Metropolitano Stadium, and they trail league frontrunners Real Madrid by six points in the table.
Their 2-1 loss to Real Madrid at the Nou Camp 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.
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After the defeat on Wednesday, Koeman said: “It [Barcelona’s league position] says we’re not well.
“The team has lost balance in the squad, lost very effective players, which shows. In recent years other clubs have strengthened every season and we haven’t, which also shows.”
Koeman was appointed in August last year and in his first campaign led Barcelona to third place in La Liga and won the Copa del Rey.
But he has struggled in his second season following the departure of Lionel Messi, who left as a free agent in the summer to join Paris Saint-Germain with financial issues leaving Barcelona unable to afford his wages.