After a disappointing 3-1 Champions League first leg defeat to Valencia, Ronald Koeman was sacked as manager of Spanish giants Barcelona this morning. The Dutchman has been at the helm for two seasons, but has failed to deliver on the club’s lofty ambitions. The former Everton boss had previously claimed that he was heading for the sack because of his negative mood and anxiety over the Catalan club’s failure to secure a top four finish in the league.
On Friday, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu appeared to back up Ronald Koeman’s claims that the Dutchman was suffering from a “panic attack” prior to a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.
Spain defender Gerard Pique has hit back at reports that Ronald Koemans wife is convinced that the Everton manager is faking his anxiety problems so that he can stay at the club.. Read more about ronald koeman and let us know what you think.10:48 AM ET.
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Ronald Koeman and his team are hitting back at Joan Laporta after the FC Barcelona president claimed the Dutchman was hospitalised this week after suffering a panic attack.
It was announced on Thursday that Koeman had been hospitalised and on Friday Laporta confirmed at a press conference that the Barca coach had become unwell.
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He got scared and was taken to the hospital, but he’s fine. I called him, Laporta said.
However, a source close to Koeman called the stories of an anxiety attack absurd and said he was in hospital for a routine blood pressure check after heart surgery in 2020.
Koeman then posted a message on his social media: Don’t believe everything you hear. I am healthy, and that is the most important thing in life!
Moreover, Wasserman’s agency, which represents Koeman’s interests, wrote on Twitter that it regrets Laporta’s comments.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta’s comments at the [press] conference about Ronald Koeman’s anxiety attack were exaggerated, Wasserman said.
Ronald went to the hospital to have his blood pressure checked – a common check for people with his medical history. We regret that this was leaked to the media. Ronald is fine, there’s nothing to worry about.
The drop comes during a growing uncertainty over Koeman’s future at Barca.
Koeman, 58, has one year left on his contract, but Laporta continues to look for a replacement, ESPN learned last week.
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In a meeting this week, Barca president Koeman said he would stay with him for the second year of his contract unless he could find a decent replacement within 15 days.
Later Friday, that news led to another tweet from Wasserman, which the agency later deleted, but which had been posted by Koeman’s agent.
Imagine this: I want to marry you but I have doubts, the deleted message reads. Give me two weeks to find a better partner. …. If I don’t find the right person, we’ll still get married!
Koeman has repeatedly stressed his desire to fulfil his contract, which expires in 2022, and said after the final game of the season – a 1-0 win over Eibar – that he did not think he had played his last game for the club.
He never had Laporta’s full support, however, and the president described him on Friday as a coach who was already in place when we were elected in March.
Laporta also expressed his respect and admiration for Koeman, whose winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final earned him legendary status at Barca, but did not say he would stay on permanently as coach after the summer.
Following the failed promotion of Hansi Flick, ESPN reported earlier this week that Belgian coach Roberto Martinez is one of the other coaches Laporta is considering.
In his first season as head coach, Koeman led Barça to Copa del Rey glory despite problems on and off the pitch. But the Blaugrana finished the season with just two wins from six games and finished outside the top two in La Liga for the first time in 13 years.
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