Joan Laporta has opened up about the recent managerial change at Barcelona, admitting he should have listened to his intuition earlier.
In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Joan Laporta opened up about relieving Ronald Koeman of his duties as the Barcelona manager. The Barcelona president admitted that he should have listened to his intuition and appointed Xavi earlier.
Barcelona’s tumultuous situation has had its effects on the field and off it. Outside the football pitch, the crippling financial issues have left an indelible mark on the Blaugrana and their ability to bolster their squad efficiently. On it, they have blown hot and cold at an alarming rate.
After a disastrous 2019/20 season, which saw two managers taking charge of Barcelona, Ronald Koeman was entrusted with the responsibility of guiding the club to stability. While Barcelona did win the Copa del Rey last season, their performances often left a lot to be desired. After a horrible start to the ongoing campaign, the Blaugrana sacked Koeman.
In came Xavi Hernandez as Koeman’s replacement, much to the irritation of the Dutchman. But after a few initial hiccups, Xavi has got the team firing on all cylinders. Joan Laporta has suggested that he should have replaced Koeman with the Barcelona legend much earlier.
Mundo Deportivo: 'I should have brought Xavi earlier.' pic.twitter.com/y5uO8qG7ae
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) March 8, 2022
“At the end of the season I already had doubts and so I let him know,” Laporta said. “He wanted to continue, we were in a certain economic and sporting context and out of respect for Koeman’s figure, we gave him an opportunity. In the end, time puts you times in your place and makes you see things that you didn’t see before.”
“Out of respect for him and because he had won the Cup, we thought we could try it. But there came a time when I saw that we weren’t going well and that we had to make another painful decision. They have been enough but with the peace of mind that I have tried to take them respecting people and prioritising the interests of the club.
“I would have done it before. It’s clear to me. I should have listened to my intuition but in life you can’t listen to intuitions. You have to take into account many situations. I’m sure no decision is perfect but I didn’t, I made another decision according to other circumstances. And in the end the decision was good because we have improved.”
In hindsight, Laporta might be right. But Koeman deserved the chance to turn the tide around after ending the 2020/21 season with a trophy. Nonetheless, the Catalan giants seem to be moving in the right direction under Xavi, and it will be interesting to see if the Barcelona legend can complete the turnaround in the coming years.