Embattled Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman read out a statement and immediately departed rather than face interrogation from journalists in Wednesday’s unusual pre-match press conference.
Koeman, 58, has come under intense pressure ahead of Thursday’s Cadiz clash after a disrupted summer – headlined by Lionel Messi’s exit because of publicised issues meeting La Liga’s financial fair play regulations – bled into the season. The Catalans were thrashed 3-0 by Bayern Munich in last week’s Champions League opener and sit eighth in La Liga after centre-back Ronald Araujo rescued a dispiriting 1-1 draw with Getafe on Monday.
“The club is with me in a situation of rebuilding. The economic situation is linked to the situation on the pitch,” said Koeman.
“We as a staff have to rebuild the team without making big investments and that takes time. The young talents can be world stars in a couple of years.
The youngsters will have opportunities, like Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta had, but patience is required.
“Besides, to finish high in the league table would be a success. In the Champions League, no miracles can be expected.
“The defeat against Bayern [Munich] must be seen in that light.
“The team must be supported, in words and actions. I know that the press recognises this process, it is not the first time in history that this has happened.
“We count on your support in these decisive times. We are very, very happy with the support of the fans, as was the case against Granada. Come on, Barcelona!”
Ex-Barca defender Koeman led them to third and lifted the Copa del Rey in his debut season. He inked a two-year deal in August 2020.
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