Koeman deserves one more year at Barcelona, says Guardiola

By Sports Desk June 07, 2021

Pep Guardiola believes Ronald Koeman deserves to stay on as Barcelona boss for another season.

Koeman admitted it was a relief to see speculation over his future as Barca head coach ended last week when president Joan Laporta confirmed he would remain in charge for the 2021-22 season.

It followed a period where Laporta sought out other potential candidates while Koeman remained in his post, with some controversy when the president was criticised by the head coach's representatives for comments about his health.

The Dutchman led Barca to Copa del Rey glory last season, though fell short in LaLiga and the Champions League, having taken over at a turbulent period that saw Lionel Messi request to leave following a fallout with former president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Luis Suarez controversially sold to eventual champions Atletico Madrid.

Former Barca team-mates Koeman and Guardiola were golfing together with their sons last week, with the Manchester City boss thrilled at Laporta's decision.

"Koeman is the ideal coach for next season, I spoke to Laporta and I am very happy the president is convinced," Guardiola said to Cadena SER.

"I am a good friend of Ronald. It has been a difficult year for everyone and Ronald deserves one more year, with people in the stadium. 

"Besides, second years are always better.

"At times the team has played very well, they are among those who played better football in Spain.

"They fell at the end when he was close to winning and Atletico won the league, but he won the cup and in general were very good."

Guardiola was one of the names briefly connected with the Camp Nou post when Laporta referenced his dream to bring the Catalan back to the club he coached so successfully from 2008 to 2012.

"I have a two-year contract at Manchester, I'm happy and so it will continue to be," said Guardiola.

He recently saw one of his top young prospects and an experienced stalwart swap City for Barca after the Catalans signed Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero on free transfers.

Guardiola had warm words for both players, predicting Garcia to become a future Camp Nou star.

"Aguero and Eric Garcia are two great signings - Kun is a scorer," said Guardiola. 

"With Eric I will tell Koeman that he has a spectacular fit, he is a good guy, really intelligent. He will be one of the captains of the next decade."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Man City want Madrid's Benzema, Bayern to battle for Chiesa Rumour Has It: Man City want Madrid's Benzema, Bayern to battle for Chiesa

    Manchester City's forward pursuit has dominated headlines.

    Since Sergio Aguero left for Barcelona, Pep Guardiola's champions have been targeting a replacement.

    Karim Benzema could reportedly fill the void.

     

    TOP STORY – BENZEMA TO CITY?

    Manchester City want to sign Real Madrid star Karim Benzema, according to El Nacional.

    Premier League champions City are desperate to bolster their attack, having missed out on Tottenham's Harry Kane following the departure of Sergio Aguero at the start of the season.

    Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic have been linked, but Benzema – out of contract in 2023 – has emerged as an option.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Nicolo Schira claims Bayern Munich are set to battle Chelsea for Federico Chiesa. The Italy international is on loan at Juventus from Fiorentina and set to join the Bianconeri permanently at the end of the season. However, if Juve fail to qualify for the Champions League, rivals could pounce.

    Barcelona are eyeing a move for Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, per Mundo Deportivo. Martial has found game time hard to come by at Old Trafford.

    - SuperDerpote claims Madrid midfielder Luka Modric would be open to leaving for City. Modric is out of contract at the end of the season. It comes after Marca said Los Blancos are not interested in United star and soon-to-be free agent Paul Pogba.

    Marcelo Brozovic is set to re-sign with Serie A champions Inter, according to Tuttosport. Brozovic has been linked with United, Barca and PSG.

  • Madrid's Casemiro lauds 'difference maker' Vinicius after game-winning strike Madrid's Casemiro lauds 'difference maker' Vinicius after game-winning strike

    Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro hailed "difference maker" Vinicius Junior after the in-form Los Blancos star produced a moment of brilliance to sink Sevilla in LaLiga.

    Vinicius' stunning late goal helped Madrid overcome rivals Sevilla 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

    Rafa Mir's early header had Madrid on the backfoot against former head coach Julen Lopetegui, but Karim Benzema restored parity after the half-hour mark.

    Vinicius then stepped up three minutes from the end with a wonderful long-range shot as Madrid moved four points clear of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad atop the standings.

    The Brazil international has now scored nine goals in 14 LaLiga appearances this season – one more than in his previous 82 games for Madrid in the competition, and Casemiro lauded 21-year-old.

    "He knows that the teams are going to make it difficult for him because they realise that he's a very important player for Real Madrid," Casemiro said of his countryman.

    "Great players score great goals whenever they get the chance.

    "We know he's a great player, he's a difference maker when he gets the chance."

    Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois added: "Vini struggled to get into the game, but then he got a great goal.

    "[He] trains really hard so that things like that come off in games. He didn't have the best of games, but the confidence he has in his own ability to make the difference is what we need from him and he delivered tonight.

    Madrid have won more points from losing positions than any other team in LaLiga this season – 10 points, two more than neighbours and defending champions Atletico.

    "It's important for us to play at home with the fans behind us. The coach makes it very clear that the substitutions are important," Casemiro said.

    "The players who came on today did very well. We're Real Madrid and we have to have a strong squad."

  • 'Vinicius has something special' – Ancelotti hails Brazilian after stunning winner against Sevilla 'Vinicius has something special' – Ancelotti hails Brazilian after stunning winner against Sevilla

    Carlo Ancelotti believes Vinicius Junior has "something special" after his stunning late strike sealed a 2-1 win for Real Madrid against Sevilla on Sunday.

    Karim Benzema had cancelled out Rafa Mir's opener before half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu, setting the stage for Vinicius to secure maximum points in the 87th minute with a thunderous drive from 22 yards.

    The Brazil international has now scored nine goals in 14 LaLiga appearances this season – one more than in his previous 82 games for Los Blancos in the competition.

    Ancelotti has long been impressed with the forward's all-round play, but he is delighted that the 21-year-old has added goals to his game.

    "Vini has something special," Ancelotti said. "His goal was extraordinary; a spectacular shot.

    "He did not have the opportunity to make a difference with dribbling, he could not do what he wanted, but he has focused on being effective in the game.

    "It's another step towards being one of the best. I knew his quality in one on one situations, in dribbling, but he did not have that ability to score goals in the past. He has shown another quality; he had never shown it."

    The result moved Los Blancos four points clear of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad at the top of the table, with Sevilla a further point back in fourth.

    It meant Madrid have now won more points from losing positions than any other team in LaLiga this season (10).

    "The rival was very strong and they showed all their qualities in the first half," Ancelotti said. "After their goal it was difficult for us to press up; we became unbalanced and we gave them opportunities.

    "After our first goal, though, we controlled the game. We finished the game well."

    Madrid are in action again on Wednesday when Athletic Bilbao travel to the capital, and Ancelotti revealed he will likely have to shuffle his pack.

    "Those who have come off the bench, like Eduardo Camavaniga and Federico Valverde, brought a lot of energy," he said.

    "I can think of some changes I will make as the team is tired – we play every three days. Valverde – we need him because he is a player who puts all his energy into the game."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.