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Europe’s Most Unpopular Coach Sacked

INTERNATIONAL: As was widely anticipated, Barcelona has sacked Ronald Koeman after Wednesday's 1-0 LaLiga defeat at Rayo Vallecano. The deeply-unpopular coach has been responsible for a long losing streak and only on Wednesday said he believed he still had a future at the club. Not so much…

Barcelona issued a statement within hours of Wednesday’s game, saying that it had “relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach”. Wednesday night’s loss was the final straw. Koeman was given the news directly by club president, Joan Laporta. He’ll say his goodbyes to the club during a training session on Thursday.

Barcelona are ninth in LaLiga on 15 points from 10 games, six points behind leaders Real Madrid who beat them 2-1 at the Nou Camp last Sunday. They’re not doing much better in the Champions’ League either- third in their group with just three points from three matches. Barcelona are five-times European champions and the results marked the first time in the club's history that they failed to score in their opening two European games.

Koeman spent six years with Barca as a player, before being brought back as coach in 2020. Now that he’s gone, the search is on for his replacement. Local media reports suggest that former midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who is currently in charge of Al Sadd in Qatar, and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez are the front runners.

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