Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman quickly dismissed suggestions he could quit his job in the wake of Tuesday night’s 4-1 Champions League defeat at Camp Nou against Paris Saint-Germain.
Koeman had earlier said he was confident about Barcelona’s chances in the Champions League this season, insisting he didn’t think there any other team significantly better than his own.
Instead, the Dutchman watched on as Barça were torn apart by PSG and Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick. It leaves the Catalans needing the kind of once in a generation miracle comeback they managed against PSG in 2017, but that looks far beyond this particular side.
Despite improved form in La Liga in recent weeks, Barcelona are still way off the pace in Spain. But the problems at the club are far bigger than just Koeman and he has no intention of walking away.
“If I was someone who gets happy when we win and then after a result like today said I had no desire to continue, that would be crazy,” he is quoted as saying by ESPN.
“I know where I am and what we have to change. We’re trying. We’re not at the end of the path yet, we’re halfway down it,” the 1992 European Cup winner added.
Koeman was honest that his team is still lacking in key areas, having made a concerted effort to bring through young players and refresh the squad since last season’s 8-2 Champions League annihilation at the hands of Bayern Munich which cost predecessor Quique Setien his job.
“You always have to aspire to win everything, but we have to recognise that we’re short in certain areas,” the 57-year-old explained.
“I have said several times that we’re on the right path, but we lack things. [Sergino] Dest at 20, in four years will be better. Pedri, at his age is already brilliant, but in five years he will be better than any PSG midfielder.”
Koeman drew further anger from Barcelona fans when he was spotted briefly laughing and joking with PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye, a player he previously managed at Everton.
Earlier this season, Koeman appeared to concede the title race in late December, which also didn’t sit well with fans as it gave the impression the club was giving up with half a season to play.