BARCELONA

Barcelona: Koeman, Laporta and Xavi's looming shadow

Despite Barcelona's victory in the Copa del Rey final, Ronald Koeman does not have the full backing of president Joan Laporta, who reportedly has made contact with Xavi.

Barcelona: Koeman, Laporta and Xavi's looming shadow
Juan Jose Ubeda GTRES

Something strange underlies the relationship between Joan Laporta and Ronald Koeman.

On Saturday, the president did his best to avoid questions regarding the continuity of the coach. It is true that the Dutchman has a contract until 2022, but the new president has never appeared to give him his full backing – not during the presidential electoral process (“Koeman will be judged by the results and the game"), nor in his inauguration speech,  nor even after Barcelona’s victory in the Copa del Rey.

As Laporta remains on the fence regarding Koeman, it is not guaranteed that he will be the coach of Barça next season despite what date is written on his contract. The president’s decision will have to made over the coming weeks and months. But that the decision may be based less on results and more on the fact that Koeman was the coach chosen by former president Josep Bartomeu; and that Laporta seems less enthused by Barcelona’s Wembley hero, which is, in some ways, surprising.

Joan Laporta with Lionel Messi.

Joan Laporta with Lionel Messi.

Xavi could replace Koeman at Barcelona in 2021-2022

And over this uncertain situation looms the shadow of another Camp Nou hero of more recent years, Xavi. Despite having quietly supported the candidacy of Víctor Font's, Xavi left the door open to Laporta, who, according to some sources, has already contacted him about taking over as coach of Barça in 2021-22.

Saturday night was not the best moment to make grandiose statements, but we will have to be attentive to the appearance of Koeman in the run-up to the next game against Getafe on Thursday.