The Challenges of Managing Barcelona According to Ronald Koeman

Former Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman recently commented on Xavi’s complaints about managing the Catalan giants, acknowledging the challenges that come with the “political situation” at the club. Xavi, who took over as Barcelona manager in November 2021, has openly talked about his dissatisfaction with the day-to-day responsibilities of the position and feeling underappreciated for his accomplishments.

Koeman, who was replaced by Xavi as Barcelona manager, shared his own experience with the pressures of the job. He mentioned that being a player for Barcelona is much more enjoyable than being a coach and that he personally struggled with the stress and expectations. Despite having conflicts with the president of the club during his tenure, Koeman empathized with Xavi’s situation as a Catalan and a former player of the club.

As the current manager of the Netherlands national team, Koeman highlighted the external media scrutiny and internal biases that further complicate the role of a Barcelona coach. He pointed out that Xavi’s transition from being a trainer in Qatar to managing Barcelona brought on a whole new level of pressure. The media attention, coupled with the complex political landscape at the club, can make it challenging for a coach to succeed.

Koeman emphasized the importance of club leadership in creating an environment where the coach can thrive. He stated that the head of the club must ensure that the coach has the necessary support to do their job effectively. Koeman admitted that he personally experienced the negative effects of the pressure and stress at Barcelona, even to the point where it affected his family life.

Barcelona currently sits in third place in LaLiga, trailing leaders Real Madrid by eight points. With tough competition ahead, including Barcelona hosting Granada on Sunday, the pressure continues to mount for Xavi and the team. Madrid, on the other hand, will face second-placed Girona, adding to the intensity of the title race in LaLiga.


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