Ronald Koeman’s managerial tenure at Barcelona was unsuccessful and fraught with a sense of friction as the Dutch boss failed to generate a healthy atmosphere within Camp Nou.
Now, one of his former players has come forward and accused him of being disdainful towards him, a sentiment perhaps shared by others as well behind closed doors.
Junior Firpo, who has since made a move to Elland Road following a two-year spell at Camp Nou, made the startling revelation while speaking to radio network Cadena SER.
Koeman ostracised the Leeds United wing-back during his time at the Catalan giants, believing him to be a “bad influence”.
“I reached a point where I lost my enthusiasm for football,” revealed Firpo in a stinging attack aimed at Koeman.
“There were things with Koeman that I didn’t understand, and at certain times there was disrespect to me and my teammates.”
❗️Junior Firpo told SER: “I asked [Ronald] Koeman for explanations, until one day he starts lying to me. He tells me things that just don't make sense – things like how I train badly and that I contaminate the group” #FCB 👥— Reshad Rahman ✆ (@ReshadRahman_) December 9, 2021
Firpo went on to insinuate that Koeman lied to him about his lack of “effort” and “involvement”, saying that the manager told him he was “contaminating” the squad.
“I don’t know what ‘I contaminate the group’ means, I suppose he was referring to my attitude. I don’t know in what way a young boy who has just arrived, is going to contaminate a group that has won everything and had been there all their lives.”
Firpo made only seven appearances under Koeman before making the move towards the greener pastures of England.
And though the Spaniard has struggled to adapt since making the transition, he spoke highly of Leeds boss Marcelo Bislea’s man-management.
Revealing that Bisela is more rigorous in his approach to matches, more than any coach he had in Barcelona, Firpo appears to make a sly dig at Koeman’s expense – and perhaps rightly so.