Ronald Koeman says he is 'relieved' after being given Barca lifeline

Ronald Koeman says he is ‘relieved’ after being given a lifeline at Barcelona as Dutchman admits scrutiny has been ‘intense’ following miserable debut campaign in the Nou Camp hot seat

  • Ronald Koeman has expressed relief after being given a Barcelona lifeline 
  • President Joan Laporta publicly backed Koeman after a poor first campaign 
  • Koeman, 58, says recent weeks have been ‘intense’ but is focused on 2021-22
  • The Catalonians are looking to wrestle the LaLiga title from Atletico Madrid 

Ronald Koeman says he is ‘relieved’ that he will manage Barcelona next season after chiefs offered the under-fire Dutchman a lifeline following a disappointing campaign at the Nou Camp.

Koeman, 58, succeeded Quique Setien last summer and was tasked with wrestling back the LaLiga title from arch rivals Real Madrid, and to make strides in the Champions League.

However, Barca were outperformed by Madrid, who finished second behind champions Atletico Madrid, while the Catalonians were dumped out of Europe in the last 16 by Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronald Koeman has expressed relief at being afforded a lifeline at Barcelona next season

The Spanish giants have endured a miserable season in which they finished 3rd in LaLiga

As a result, Koeman had been looking over his shoulder with Barcelona’s board notorious for wielding the axe against underperforming managers.

Yet new president Joan Laporta revealed on Thursday that after ‘a period of reflection’ the board decided to stick with the 58-year-old, giving him a chance to turn things around next season.

And Koeman has admitted he is ‘relieved’ by the support of his superiors at the Nou Camp after an ‘intense’ few weeks, as attention turns to closing the gap on their Madrid rivals in 2021-22.  

However, president Joan Laporta has publicly backed Koeman to lead the team next season

And the Dutchman, 58, says recent weeks have been ‘intense’ as a result of the speculation

‘I am relieved to say my players and staff can fully focus on the new season now,’ he wrote on his Facebook page. 

‘The last few weeks have been intense, but I am glad that President Joan Laporta gave his support to me and calm has been restored. 

‘The focus of everyone in the club is the same: building a winning Barça and achieving success! #ForçaBarça.’

Barcelona have already made great strides in the transfer market this summer, signing Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia from Man City on free transfers, with Georginio Wijnaldum expected to join for free from Liverpool. 

Koeman added that he is ‘fully focused’ on ‘building a winning team’ with Barca in 2021-22

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