Barcelona fire Ronald Koeman after loss to Rayo Vallecano

Barcelona fire Ronald Koeman after loss to Rayo Vallecano

Almost mercifully, the Ronald Koeman era at Barcelona has ended. 

Barcelona confirmed Wednesday they've fired Koeman shortly after their 1-0 La Liga defeat to Rayo Vallecano. The news is hardly surprising, as it was rumored Koeman was on borrowed time before Barca dropped three of their last four league matches to fall to ninth in the table, six points off leaders and rivals Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 this past weekend. 

"Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach," the club said in an official release. "The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano. Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva.  

"FC Barcelona wishes to thank him for his service to the Club and wishes him all the best in his professional career."

Koeman first signed on as Barcelona boss in August 2020. 

While Barcelona won the 2021 Copa del Rey final under Koeman, the Spanish giants finished third in the league table behind champions Atletico Madrid and second-place Real Madrid and were also bounced from the Champions League in the round of 16. Koeman's job was made all the more difficult this summer when superstar Lionel Messi left the club and joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent after Barcelona were unable to register Messi due to financial complications the club called "financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations)." 

According to ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens, Barcelona began "sounding out possible replacements" for Koeman last month. Marsden and Llorens named Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and club legend Xavi Hernandez as potential targets. 

Xavi manages Al-Sadd in Qatar: 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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