Ronald Koeman sacked after Barcelona lose at Rayo Vallecano

Dismissal follows Barca's fourth defeat in six matches

Barcelona have sacked first-team coach Ronald Koeman after Wednesday’s defeat to Rayo Vallecano.

Koeman, 58, was under pressure after his side lost to Real Madrid at the weekend and this latest loss, the fourth in Barca's past six matches, proved the final straw for the board.

Barca are six points off La Liga leaders Real Madrid in ninth place.

Former midfielder Xavi Hernandez, currently in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd, and River Plate coach Marcel Gallardo are reportedly among those under consideration to take over.

“FC Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first-team coach,” the club said after a fifth loss in all competitions this term.

“The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano. 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.”

Koeman had a huge amount of success as a player at Camp Nou, winning four La Liga titles and the European Cup during a trophy-laden spell at the start of the 1990s.

The lure of returning to his old club proved too strong back in August 2020 as the Dutchman left his post as Holland boss to complete a shock return.

An up-and-down first campaign saw Barca win the Copa del Rey but ended in disappointing fashion as they finished third in La Liga, having also lost heavily to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 stage.

With the club’s financial situation causing problems, Koeman could only watch on as Lionel Messi departed after he was unable to sign a new deal due to the continuing problems off the pitch.

A poor start to their Champions League campaign where they suffered defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica increased the scrutiny on the former Everton boss, who then saw their La Liga form drop off.

Three defeats in four league games with the last a 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano saw Koeman’s time end with only one year left on his terms.

Memphis Depay missed a penalty in Wednesday’s reverse on the road which went the way of the home side thanks to a Radamel Falcao goal.

Updated: October 28th 2021, 8:55 AM
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