Junior Firpo had great potential to become an elite back in the football world. But his commitment to Barcelona certainly didn’t go according to plan. Now he admits that Ronald Koeman had an influence.
Firpo has developed into one of the best left-backs in La Liga in a Betis jersey, which is why Barcelona brought him into their squad in 2019. There, he was supposed to gradually replace the ageing Jordi Alba.
“The two seasons at Barcelona were very different. In the first one, I was disappointed with myself. I really regret that I didn’t make better use of it. I didn’t make good use of it,” he told Relevo.
“The second season I played very little. And yet at a much better level than the first one. I don’t think Koeman knew me very well: I was young, I had just come on the scene, I had been among the elite for two and a half years. He was the first to tell me to stay, but that didn’t turn into minutes later. I remember once when Jordi Alba was injured, he put Destu at left-back. The minutes he gave me were on the right side… I didn’t have enough,” Firpo regretted.
Firpo thus lost the position completely and Koeman actually preferred to deploy right-back Sergin Desta on the left side. Logically, this resulted in a debate between player and coach.
“I was looking for answers, but Koeman gave me an answer in which he was not honest: he told me that I was contaminating and spoiling the cabin… So I stopped trying. It’s very nice to play for Barcelona because of everything they give you, but I wanted to play,” Firpo added.
Firpo played 41 games for Barcelona over two seasons, scoring 2 goals and adding 2 assists. In the summer of 2021, he left for Leeds, where he is still and had to endure relegation to the Championship last season.
However, the Spanish full-back wasn’t the only one who had a problem with Koeman. Miralem Pjanic and Riqui Puig also spoke unflatteringly about the Dutch coach.
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