Barcelona fire Ronald Koeman

Barcelona, Oct 28 (EFE).- FC Barcelona announced early Thursday that Ronald Koeman has been dismissed as coach after some 14 months in the job.

Club president Joan Laporta informed the Dutchman of the decision following Barça’s 1-0 defeat Wednesday night to Rayo Vallecano, the team said in a statement released just after midnight.

Koeman, who was part of a Blaugrana side that four consecutive LaLiga titles in the 1990s, “will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday,” according to the terse announcement.

The loss to Vallecano, coming on the heels of last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to archrivals Real Madrid in the Clasico, left Barça ninth in LaLiga on 15 points, just 8 above the drop zone.

Barcelona have also started poorly in the Champions League, with only one win in their first three matches, a not very impressive 1-0 result against Dynamo Kiev following successive 3-0 defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica.

The performance at Vallecas on Wednesday encapsulated the team’s shortcomings. With nearly 70 percent possession, the visitors put just one shot on target.

After going behind in the 30th minute on a goal by Radamel Falcao, Barcelona had a chance to equalize after Vallecano’s Valentin fouled Memphis Depay with 20 minutes left.

But goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski made a valiant diving save to deny the Dutch international and the hosts took all 3 points to climb to fifth place.

Sources with the club told Efe that the favorite to succeed Koeman is former Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez, currently coach of Qatari team Al Sadd.

Pending a final agreement with Hernandez, Barcelona B coach Sergi Barjuan may take charge for the first team’s upcoming ties with Alaves and Dynamo. EFE


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