Koeman Barca dream come true!

We didn’t know this would happen. But we knew Koeman really wanted this to happen. For years, Koeman shared his big dream to one day coach his favorite Barcelona. In the footsteps and on the shoulders of his mentor, Johan Cruyff.

And finally it happened. He was one of the few Barca fans with a huge smile on his face, when football machine Bayern took the Catalonians apart in the CL quarter finals…

Koeman ideally wanted to finish this years Euros with Oranje, before he’d jump to Barcelona but due to Covid, that tournament has been postponed and could in theory even be completely cancelled (nothing is sacred anymore).

So when Setien couldn’t find the answer to the problem(s), it became clear a new strong man was needed.

In the words of Barca watcher Edwin Swinkels: “Barca needs a strong coach, who will have the balls to complete renovate the squad and has the socios’ respect and support.” Xavi has been on the wishlist for quite a while, and the favorite in the eyes of some of the candidates to win the presidency at the club but for the inexperienced Xavi, it would be ideal if someone like Koeman would clean house first, and leave a new and flash Barca team to Xavi to enjoy.

Barcelona initially wanted Koeman for 1 year. But in the flash negotiations between him and the club (and manager Rob Janssen), the camp Koeman made it clear that he’ll need a bit more.

Koeman’s job will be a tough one. For starters, La Liga will start within the next 4 weeks already. And secondly, Barca declared only four (4!) players to be essential for the next Dream Team: Ter Steeghe, Messi (of course), Frenkie and French defender Lenglet. Yes, you read it correctly: Alba, Busquets, Griezmann, Suarez, Pique, Vidal, Dembele…anyone interested in them? Barca will wrap ‘m in gift paper.

And all this in a time when Barca doesn’t seem to have a lot of money to invest in new blood. A tough assignment. Typically an assignment only someone with a big huge hard-on for the club would accept. Koeman just did.

Lets look at that history between the two football phenomena…

It’s 1988. Koeman won the Euros with the NT and the European Cup with PSV. Real Madrid calls. Koeman answers the phone and checks in with mentor and ex-coach Johan Cruyff (at Barca), what he thinks. Cruyff: “Don’t sign. I want you here.”  Koeman signs in January 1989, for 6 million euros. A club record for PSV. He flies to Barca with his wife and goes through the motions with press, fans, and more press. On his flight back, he mutters: “Ooh, I can’t wait till I can hit a rocket into the top corner in Camp Nou!”. He did not lack confidence.

But his first months are dramatic. Barca can’t find the flow. They lose against Anderlecht in the first round of the European Cup and Koeman is used as midfielder, right and centre and fairly quickly named as the worst signing of the season…. When he also ends up losing against Mallorca on a pitch not even fit for cows, he doubts his move: “Is this what it is? Playing for Barcelona?”.

Koeman doesn’t believe his eyes. The socios adore players who run and work like crazy. Koeman is the type that doesn’t run, but prefers to walk, while letting the ball do the work. The forwards don’t press. The midfield is not strong enough. The defenders are constantly up against a majority of opponents. “I played nine years in the Eredivisie, I won everything you could win and then this??”

Koeman improves that season but would get seriously injured in his second season. Barca wins the title, though, the first since 1985. In his third year, Barca wins the title again and this time Koeman is impressive. He scored 26 goals from distance in six seasons and he would earn the nickname “the canon”.

Koeman and Cruyff had a difficult time together at Ajax. The midfielder went nuts over Cruyff’s continuous hammering on details and when Koeman could jump to PSV, Cruyff let him go. Only to buy him back for Barca, paying 13 times more. In Barcelona, they’d become neighbours and friends.

Koeman always played, until the 1993/94 season. Barca signs Romario. And extra foreigner, as JC had Koeman, Laudrup and Stoichkov. The media started to bet on “which player will be left out”. The bookies placed Koeman as the least likely. The Dutch man was so important now, Cruyff would never bench him!

But JC did. Koeman: “I was so angry! We had coffee earlier on the day as mates. I yelled at him: WHY DIDNT YOU INFORM ME?? And he just shrugged his shoulders.” Later, the press asked him about it and he said: “I decided to put my best man on the bench, as he is the strongest, mentally. He will get over it and it won’t affect him.”

After the press conference, he called Koeman and said “lets get the wives and go out for a bite” as if nothing had happened.

It’s May 1992 and Barca was finally able to get out of the shadow of Real Madrid. At Wembley, Barcelona Superstar Koeman scores the winner in the CL finals and will end up a club legend as a result. Koeman plays a top match and emphasizes his worth for the team. Every attack starts with him. The players always try to find him. He is the natural leader of this Dream Team.

Koeman reflects back onto his goal: “There was only one angle to score. One trajectory and I had to shoot the ball straight between a couple of players. When I take that free kick 100 times, 95 times I will hit a body part. This time, it went clean through.” Immortality for Koeman, as this goal will be shown in the Barcelona museum for decades to come…

In 1995, Cruyff wants to extend Ronald’s deal but it seems Koeman doubts. The Dream Team is not longer that dreamy. Stoichkov has placed bombs in the squad by saying that “this team isn’t good enough for me to want to play with” and “Koeman is in the team because he is friends with the coach”….The stress of playing in Spain becomes too much. Flying to away games, constant police protection, women hoping for a glimpse or more…. Whenever Ronald visits his family in Holland, he feels he is in paradise.

Koeman returns to Holland and signs for Feyenoord where he’ll play for 2 seasons. After that, he returns to Barca, as right hand man for Louis van Gaal while he also assists Guus Hiddink at the 1998 World Cup. He also coaches Barcelona B until Vitesse lures him to the main chair, in Arnhem. Even back then, he stated his ambition: one day I will coach Barcelona, I hope. He will coach Ajax and when in Amsterdam, Barca comes by to lure him to the job. But Ajax refuses to let him go.

They come again for him. This time it’s January 2020 and Koeman thinks he will play the Euros with the NT that summer… He couldn’t predict Covid-19, of course. He told Marca “Of course, I would have signed immediately if I was without a job. Everyone loves Barca. I don’t care what the circumstances are. When Barca calls, you listen. I love the city and I had my best years there.” Typical for Koeman: he seems to be able to make all his dreams come true.

The big question now is: who will follow him up as NT coach?

We will look at that in depth, in the coming days.

Dutch candidates: Louis van Gaal, Peter Bosz, Henk ten Cate, Phillip Cocu, Frank de Boer….

International candidates: Ralf Rangnick, Jurgen Klinksmann, Mauricio Pochettino, Leonardo Jardim, Hein Vanhaezenbrouck

Your thoughts?

Bookmark and Share


  1. With AW ruling himself out, and if the Dutch FA is insistent on a Dutch coach, then I would prefer LVG. He has an eye for young talent, won’t hesitate to play them and develop them as he proved at the teams he coached.

  2. Gutted that depay
    Was taken off only 50 min something ! Was really hoping to see him scoring tonight.

    So apparently Ajax has benefited from Bayern’ a win . How’s that so Ajax is straight in the group stages of next champions league ?

    1. Gutted for Depay? He could play for the whole day and not score or not even touch the ball more than a few times. I have no idea why Garcia kept him in play instead of playing Dembele who made a big difference in attack. Depay seemed like he could barely drag himself around.

  3. Thanks for the article Jan! I remember how I went crazy in 1992 CHL final when he scored a bullet against Sampdoria which was a very good team. Koeman was an awesome player but as a club coach he is not Barca’s quality. He did well at Southampton, sucked big time at Valencia and Everton. Great with NT but he stands no chance at Barca. Board elections are less than 1 yr away and once Bartomeu is kicked out so will Koeman. He has no $$$ to spend and has a bunch of disgruntled and old players and some not so special youngsters. I respect his desire and passion to coach his dream club and I am sure it comes with a handsome $ compensation. In the end NT will suffer, Barca won’t go anywhere and Koeman will start looking for a new club in a few months or he will retire with his newfound treasure. Good luck to him.

  4. I watched CL games recently and have some observations that I want to share:
    1/ De Jong: he has some good moments in the Napoli match but overall, he is not as good as when he play in the NT. It could be his form, but most likely is due to Barca has wrong set up. In the Bayern game, he lost the ball multiple times trying to dribbling out of Bayern pressure. Indeed, everyone in Barca lost the ball but De Jong was way better than that when he played for us.
    2/ Depay: he seems not fit yet. In all 3 matches that he played, he was doing alright but nothing especially good.
    3/ De Roon: really good at defending, breaking up play and really bad at offensive passing.
    4/ Hateboer: in general, he is good at both defending and going attack. However, from time to time, he made some big howler like passing back so that Neymar face goalie 1 v 1 and ball watching in Paris equalizer.

  5. Chelsea sign Xavier Mbuyamba. The Back line looks sorted for at least next 4 world cups . its shaping up slowly. I remember Belgium few years back were unknown. 2010 to be exact but gradually with player movement at Club level they grew what is now their golden generation.

      1. Yup, I can see the horizon with no more Van … players but mostly africans naturalized as dutch. I won’t be able to remember the new names. In the 80s and 90s I knew every single dutch player by full name and the club they played for. Thanks to globalization it won’t feel like Holland anymore. In fact all national teams western europe are like an international mix.

          1. I dont think you wanna say this. if you have to put this in todays context the dutch would be starving of talents and teams like Ghana and Nigeria or Suriname would be world champions. you have too look at it from both sides.

  6. AZ concluded their last preparation game against first divisionist Telstar 1:1. Very poor game. AZ always starts season slow but this year was much worse than last year. Team can not score and lacks drive. Realistically, I do not see how AZ can pass Victoria and expect very swift exit from Europe. Stengs and Vlaar most likely will not be part of the game as they missed entire preparation and it will be stupid to let them play important game. The risk of getting bad injuries is very high. AZ need to think about another successful eredivisie season. Too bad that Slot was unable to nring AZ up to speed.

  7. @AZ, That doesn’t sound good. Any chance that they are just being brought along slowly during the preseason; that maybe they can hit another gear when it comes to the qualifying?

    How does Boadu look? Given the injury to Malen; and that Depay looks like he is still not up to speed yet, there is potentially a big opportunity for him in the upcoming Nations League games.

  8. @andrew. That is exactly what have happened: late and slow start. Management was unable to solve the central defender problem and that left no other options as to leave Koopmeiners in the back. Without him midfield looks so poor. With respect to Boadu he still lacks rhythm. He is not Oranje material at this moment.

  9. “Stefan de Vrij has now finished as runner-up in the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, Coppa Italia, Serie A, Europa League and Nations League without ever winning a major trophy.”

  10. Luuk De Jong! Who would have guessed? The player who hadn’t scored in 11 consecutive games for Sevilla scores 2 fantastic headers in the final after scoring the winning goal in the semifinal.. Not only that but he played phenomenal. If I saw this guy for the first time I would say “what a player”. Congrats to Luuk! Well played and well deserved.

  11. Two very good headers from Luuk De Jong. Actually he has good sense of positioning and can really head the ball well. Also, he is adept at keeping the ball and bringing others into play. However, he lacks the pace and explosiveness. He can be an impact sub for the NT when chasing the game.

  12. F%%^k globalization and evil soros and left chronies..i prefer to see to people keep stand with there culture and values..

    Barca is lucky to have koeman..We lost him..
    I heard that caretaker coach is 1000 times better than Bert,deboer,hiddinski and Danny blind…Lets go with our caretaker coach like klinsmann to joachim low….

    I hope Koeman doesnt bring Gini and Depay to barca…..

          1. wat is anti semitism??..calling me ant-isemitic is oxymoron….i am semitic very much..deeply…didnt expect follishness from you…i stand with isreal..

      1. I join you in requesting that Jan take action.

        If he can’t keep this board free of anti-Semitism, there’s no reason to be here, other than to hang out with anti-Semites.

        1. u r telling about guy who bless isreal..i will bless who bless them (Isreal)…FYI what made u think that i am anti –semitic???dont utter nonsense..i am an evangelical christian who stand with isreal…Dont fool urself..

          1. Piss off, tiju. It’s up to Jan at this point. I’m long since out of patience with you. If he wants this blog to be a platform for your offensive, half-baked politics, that’s up to him. Whether or not others will be here is up to us. Jan will tell us what he wants his blog to be.

          2. @Goldstone u piss off man..who asked u to reply when i was responding Balkan comment??you accused me of something i am totally against..accusing me based on ur stupid assumption is not nice..yes i dont like libtards who blows up everything neither i like George soros..that doesnt make me anti —semitic understand???

  13. Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ Alkmaar), Jasper Cillessen (Valencia), Tim Krul (Norwich City), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven)

    Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax Amsterdam), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Denzel Dumfries (PSV Eindhoven), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Perr Schuurs (Ajax Amsterdam), Kenny Tete (Olympique Lyonnais), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Joel Veltman (Brighton&Hove Albion), Owen Wijndal (AZ Alkmaar)
    Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Leroy Fer (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Mohamed Ihattaren (PSV Eindhoven), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ Alkmaar), Davy Propper (Brighton&Hove Albion), Calvin Stengs (AZ), Kevin Strootman (Olympique Marseille), Donny van de Beek (Ajax Amsterdam), Tonny Vilhena (Krasnodar), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

    Forwards: Ryan Babel (Galatasaray), Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham Hotspur), Myron Boadu (AZ Alkmaar), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyonnais), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Quincy Promes (Ajax Amsterdam), Wout Weghorst (VfL Wolfsburg).

    Presence veltman and co are worrying

  14. Watched RB Salzburg (1) v. (4) Ajax match today. With the disclaimer that this was an exhibition match, Ajax showed alot of promise for the upcoming season.

    Of the younger players, Gravenberch is a bit of a wild child, but his physical gifts and talent are high. If he harnesses it all, he will really be something. The new Brazilian Anthony, already is something. He should fit well with van de Beek, Tadich and Promes to form a dangerous attacking group. Schuurs played a strong match next to Blind.

    Alvarez, Anthony and Gravenberch started in the mf. with Alvarez played in front of the defenders. He defended well, but is not great going forward, though, so it limits them a little, (and this makes Blind important for the build up out of the back). In the second half, van de Beek and Taylor came into the mf, and Anthony moved to a forward position. Taylor replaced Gravenberch, He looked good; strong, positionally solid, and plays a physical game.

    Mazraoui played the first half at rb, Dest the second

    All four of the goals were high quality—Gravenberch, Anthony, van de Bbeek and Rentsch (a young defender). No point in my trying to describe them when youtube is available.

    1. Promes finishing capabilities is very poor. thats one of his major weakness. he scores when you expect him the least. good impact player at NT level.

  15. Koeman wants to sign Boadu and Stengs. Hope this is just a rumor as those two are not ready for any move taking into account their current forms. They will be candidates for swift failure as I doubt they are ready the physical intensity of La Liga. Do not remember which Dutch coach took over Barcelona many years ago (I think it was van Gaal) when he signed so many Dutch player such as Huntelaar, Robben, Sneejder etc. After one season all of them disappeared from Barcelona. This is going to happen to a new Dutch contingent that Koeman wants to bring to Barcelona. IN general, not very optimistic that Koeman will do well in Barcelona.

    1. its was after the 98 world cup if im not wrong.8 of them. kluivert,zenden,de boer brothers,cocu, overmars,Reiziger

      the rumors that are popping up about the players linked to Barce under Koeman, wijnaldum,Depay, Van Der Beek and others. it already looks like koeman is already doomed

      also Barcelona presidential election is also looming which if current president Josep Maria Bartomeu doesnt get re elected it could prove decisive for Koeman. off course if he doesn’t hit the ground rolling at barcelona . he needs to be very careful he doesnt make the same mistake he did at Everton.


      1. I am sorry, I misspoke. In 2007 Real Madrid signed Robben, Sneijder, Huntelaar, and Drenthe . None of them stayed with the club more than a season. Bernd Schuster was a coach.

  16. what m I hearing about Turkey trying to lure Ferdi Kadioglu to play for them internationally. KNVB needs to tie him down quick.No another Ziyech case scenario please.

  17. Since Jan has decided to let tiju’s anti-“Soros”, anti-“globalist” screed stand, it’s time for me to leave this blog for good. There’s no way I’ll give even tacit support to a hangout that allows anti-Semitic comments.

    Yes, tiju is crazy. And, yes, Jan has long since refused to moderate even the craziest, ugliest comments. So, yes, an affirmative stand against coded racism here is essential.

    So the folks over at https://www.football-oranje.com/ have their act together a bit more. And, come World Cup time, Jan can hang out with his anti-Soros crew and boycott till he turns blue in the face, but I’ll be moderating comments at http://www.reddit.com/r/netherlandsworldcup. No politics allowed there. Coded racism is immediately deleted. 🙂

    Good luck with your “anti-globalist”, “believe me, there’s already a vaccine” crowd. Conspiracy theories and Dutch soccer have always shared an affinity. Ciao!

    1. You dont have to leave.
      1-I was never anti —semitic.you lied ,you are LIAR.Bring proof of anti-semitism and define wats ur anti–semitism.????SINCE u always brng anti-semitism…your anti semitic not me okay????
      2-i dont support people who destroy their country and culture(especially when its beautiful to watch from outside)..i stand against it..
      i came and become a dutch fan due to the “”VAN” culture and beauty they brought in.which Balkan was saying..Which is loosing by Balkan word..
      3-As much as u love evil soros i dont like him..i see evil in him.
      4-I am, black/Brown and i am not a F%%king racist..agaian u lied..LIAR..

Join the Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.