Pep Guardiola believes Ronald Koeman deserves to remain Barcelona boss for another season.
Koeman admitted it was a relief to see speculation about his future as Barca head coach ended last week when president Joan Laporta confirmed he will remain in charge for the 2021-22 season .
This followed a period where Laporta sought out other potential candidates while Koeman remained in office, with some controversy when the president was criticized by representatives for the head coach for comments about his health.
The Dutchman led Barca to Copa del Rey glory last season but failed in La Liga and the Champions League, having taken over from a turbulent period which saw Lionel Messi ask to leave following a ‘an argument with former president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Luis Suarez controversially sold to future champions Atletico Madrid.
Former Barca teammates Koeman and Guardiola were playing golf with their sons last week with the Manchester City boss delighted with Laporta’s decision.
“Koeman is the perfect coach for next season, I have spoken to Laporta and I am very happy that the president is convinced,” Guardiola told Cadena SER.
“I am a good friend of Ronald. It’s been a tough year for everyone and Ronald deserves another year, with people in the stadium.
“In addition, the second years are always better.
“Sometimes the team played really well, they are among those who have played the best football in Spain.
“They fell at the end when he was close to winning and Atletico won the league, but he won the cup and overall was very good.”
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 5, 2021
Guardiola was one of the names briefly linked to the Camp Nou job when Laporta referred to his dream of bringing the Catalan back to the club he coached so successfully from 2008-2012.
“I have a two-year contract with Manchester, I’m happy and will continue to be,” Guardiola said.
He recently saw one of his best young prospects and a seasoned loyalist swap City for Barca after the Catalans signed Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero on free transfers.
Guardiola had warm words for both players, predicting Garcia would become a future Camp Nou star.
“Aguero and Eric Garcia are two excellent rookies – Kun is a goalscorer,” Guardiola said.
“With Eric, I’ll tell Koeman he’s in spectacular form, he’s a good guy, really smart. He’s going to be one of the captains for the next decade.