‘The hardest job I ever had’- Ronald Koeman defends departing Barcelona boss Xavi

Former Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has this evening moved to reveal his sympathy for the current man on the bench in Catalunya.

The name of Barca boss Xavi, of course, has taken its place front and centre in the headlines in Spain for several weeks now.

This comes after the ex-midfielder made public his decision to stand down from his post upon the conclusion of the campaign.

In doing so, Xavi made clear the toll that the job had taken on his wellbeing, labelling the dugout in Catalunya’s capital as a ‘cruel’ and ‘unpleasant’ one.

And, as alluded to above, on Thursday, the Spaniard has been backed in his claims by another one-time Blaugrana headmaster.

Speaking in an interview with Good Morning Eredivisie, as cited by Diario Sport, Ronald Koeman today provided an insight into his own struggles whilst in charge of Barcelona.

“I understand Xavi,” the Dutchman – who held the managerial post at Camp Nou from 2020 to 2021 – began. “In my case, compared to Xavi’s, I had difficulties with the president. Especially when things don’t go well or when you don’t win a trophy…. The media points a gun at you. If things don’t go well, It’s always the coach’s fault.

“Being a Barça coach is an assault on your mental health. There is a lot of stress and pressure. It is much more fun to be a Barcelona player than a coach, and Xavi, as a Catalan and part of the club, has surely noticed it. It’s the hardest coaching job I’ve ever had.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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