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'Koeman lied to me' - Leeds star Firpo slams ex-Barcelona boss for disrespecting him at Camp Nou

6:41 PM WAT 09/12/2021
Junior Firpo Barcelona 2020-21
The defender has criticised the Dutchman for failing to keep his promises when they worked together in Catalunya

Leeds star Junior Firpo has slammed former Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman for what he saw as disrepsect towards him and a number of other first team players during his time at Camp Nou.

Firpo initially joined Barca from Real Betis in August 2019, and went on to appear in 41 games across all competitions for the club, scoring two goals.

The talented full-back saw his playing time reduced when Koeman took charge ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, though, and ended up joining Leeds for €15 million (£13m/$18m) in the summer.

What's been said?

Koeman was sacked by Barca three months after Firpo's departure amid a poor run of results, and the former Spain U21 international has now opened up on his struggles under the Dutchman.

“I asked Koeman for explanations why I was not playing until one day he started to lie to me," Firpo has told SER Catalunya. "At that point, when the coach starts to lie to you, you realise they’re misleading you… Why keep asking for explanations if at the end of the day they’re going to mislead you time and again?

“He lied to me because he said things that made no sense, that I was training badly, contaminating the group. Things like that. You can ask anyone at the club at the time and they will agree with me."

The Leeds defender added on Koeman's regular absence from training sessions: "There was a lack of respect, not just to me but to other players. I will never understand that, after a game, when the substitutes train the next day, Koeman stayed in his office while we were training.

“If I have to show to you that I deserve to play and you don’t pick me… the only way I can show that is in training. When the whole team trains it is tougher, there are a lot more of us, we do quick exercises and they’re tired after playing a game.

“The day that I have to prove I should play and want to play is the day after the game when the substitutes train hard… and you’re not there.”

How have Barca performed since Koeman's exit?

Barca moved quickly to appoint club legend Xavi as Koeman's permanent successor at the start of November.

Xavi inherited a side that had slipped to ninth in the Liga standings, and has managed to guide them up to seventh after winning two of his first three domestic matches.

However, Barca exited the Champions League at the group stage for the first time since 2003-04 after a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, and will now have to compete in the Europa League.

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