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Barcelona: Ronald Koeman sacked as manager after loss at Rayo Vallecano

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has been sacked.

The Dutchman, who took charge in August 2020, leaves the Catalan giants in ninth in the La Liga table following a difficult summer for the club in which they lost the iconic Lionel Messi on a free transfer amid a backdrop of financial problems.

Koeman’s final game in charge was a loss away at Rayo Vallecano and the 1-0 defeat led to confirmation on the club’s official website that he had been relieved of his duties.

“FC Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach,” read a statement.

“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.”

They are third in their Champions League group with three points from three matches after suffering 3-0 defeats in their opening two games against Bayern Munich and Benfica.

Barcelona are five-time European champions and the results marked the first time in the club’s history that they had failed to score in their opening two European games.

Koeman, who spent six years with Barca as a player, was brought back to the club in August 2020 by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

New chief Joan Laporta, however, frequently made it clear that the Dutchman was not his appointment.

The duo had an uneasy relationship, with Koeman last month releasing a statement calling for him to be given time to rebuild after losing Messi and Antoine Griezmann in the transfer window.

However, that wish was not granted and the club will now seek a replacement for the 58-year-old.

Local media reports suggest that former midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who is currently in charge of Al Sadd in Qatar, and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez are the front runners for the role.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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