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Barcelona sack manager Ronald Koeman after defeat

Barcelona sacked head coach Ronald Koeman on Wednesday following their 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, the La Liga club said.

“FC Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach. The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano,” said the club in a statement.

“Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva,” it said. “FC Barcelona wishes to thank him for his service to the Club and wishes him all the best in his professional career.”

Barca are in ninth spot in La Liga with 15 points in 10 matches.

Wednesday’s defeat came after the team lost against Real Madrid on Sunday.

The former Netherlands boss, 58, was sacked after 14 months in charge with 39 wins, 12 draws and 16 losses in his 67 matches. He also won the 2021 Copa del Rey.

According to local media, Barcelona’s former midfielder Xavi Hernandez is reportedly the strongest candidate to replace Koeman.

Earlier this month, the club supported manager Koeman despite disappointing results.

“Regardless of the result, Koeman will continue to be the coach of Barca. He has got a contract in place,” Barcelona President Laporta told reporters on Oct. 2.

Koeman was one of the most important football players of his generation, appearing as a defender for Dutch clubs Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord and Barcelona.

He won a European Champion Clubs’ Cup and a UEFA Super Cup triumph with Barcelona and one more European Champion Clubs’ Cup with PSV during his playing career.

The Dutch legend clinched the 1988 European Championship largely known as the UEFA EURO 88 with the Netherlands, the country’s only major title.

Barcelona hired Koeman in 2020 with a contract until June 2022.

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