Ronald Koeman is beloved by Barcelona for scoring the membership’s most essential purpose ever however his repute shall be severely examined this season as he seeks to guide a workforce in want of main surgical procedure via certainly one of their darkest moments in current reminiscence.
Among the many Dutchman’s many duties is to make sure Lionel Messi stays motivated after the membership’s talisman sensationally tried to depart the membership final month earlier than deciding to remain for a minimum of yet one more season.
Most significantly, he should devise a solution to get the workforce successful once more after a primary trophyless season since 2008, which was compounded by the humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich within the Champions League.
Unpopular president Josep Maria Bartomeu clung to the reminiscence of Koeman’s free-kick strike in opposition to Sampdoria which delivered Barca’s first European Cup in 1992 when he offered the Dutchman as a determine the membership and followers might all rally spherical.
Certainly, it’s no exaggeration to say Koeman’s standing as an important determine of Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Group’ earned him the job as a lot as his patchy report as a coach.
Koeman’s solely actual success as a supervisor has are available his residence nation, successful league titles with Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven in addition to main the nationwide workforce to the European Championships earlier than leaving the function to hitch Barca.
His final main trophy got here in 2008, a Copa del Rey triumph with Valencia which was one vivid spot in a horrible marketing campaign the place he was then sacked with the workforce on the point of the relegation zone.
Koeman had tried to drag off a clear-out of excessive profile gamers at Valencia and faces an identical process at Barca, with Bartomeu warning proper earlier than the Dutchman’s appointment that long-serving gamers can be proven the door.
Ivan Rakitic has already left for Sevilla whereas Koeman has informed Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez they’re not wanted, though the membership has but to discover a purchaser for both participant.
The coach is eager to herald Netherlands internationals Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay whereas Barca have additionally been in discussions with Inter Milan ahead Lautaro Martinez.
However the membership’s potential to finance new arrivals is constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic and can hinge on them decreasing the very best wage invoice in world soccer.
The membership’s monetary issues and Messi’s tried transfer have led to elevated stress on president Bartomeu, with followers at present campaigning to drive a vote of confidence in opposition to him.
But past the gloom there’s additionally loads of pleasure about Ansu Fati, 17 who made an explosive rise from the youth academy into the primary workforce final 12 months and will genuinely be the inheritor to Messi at any time when the Argentinian does select to depart.
Barca are resting for the primary two weeks of the brand new season, which begins on Saturday, as a result of collaborating within the Champions League and start their marketing campaign at residence to Villarreal on Sept. 27.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Modifying by Christian Radnedge)