Joan Laporta ‘held a dressing room meeting with despondent Barcelona players WITHOUT under-fire boss Ronald Koeman’ after humbling defeat against Benfica in the Champions League
- Barcelona were beaten 3-0 by Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday
- The Catalans have won once in their last five games under Ronald Koeman
- Joan Laporta reportedly had a meeting with Barca’s stars after the Benfica loss
- The dressing room speech was made without Koeman present, say reports
Joan Laporta held a dressing room meeting with the Barcelona players without Ronald Koeman after the Catalans’ 3-0 defeat to Benfica on Wednesday, say reports.
The LaLiga giants were humbled in the Champions League once again, with the thrashing by the Portuguese side leaving Barcelona without any points in their European group stage campaign after two games.
Doubts are now growing over the future of Dutch boss Koeman, who has now led the Catalans to just one win in five matches in all competitions, leaving them not only facing a Champions League group stage exit but also five points off the top of LaLiga.
Joan Laporta held a meeting with Barcelona players after their 3-0 loss at Benfica, say reports
The Barcelona president reportedly spoke to his dejected stars without boss Ronald Koeman
And according to Spanish news outlet Diario AS, Barcelona president Laporta went down to the dressing room in Portugal on Wednesday night to console the club’s downbeat players.
The report adds that Laporta’s speech did not mention Koeman once and the Dutch boss was not present in the dressing room as he was taking part in media duties.
In those media interviews, Koeman admitted that he is unsure whether he will be sacked as Barcelona manager following this poor run of form for the club.
Koeman was not present for Laporta’s speech as he was undertaking post-match media duties
Asked if he felt he had backing at Barcelona, Koeman said: ‘I feel the players are behind me.’ Asked if he felt the board backed him too, he said: ‘I don’t know.’
Before the manager’s interview, Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong was asked if the answer to Barcelona’s woes was to sack Koeman, to which he replied: ‘No’.
Barcelona finished third in LaLiga last season during Koeman’s first season in charge and while they managed to lift the Copa del Rey, a 5-2 aggregate loss in the Champions League last-16 to Paris Saint-Germain shows how far they are from Europe’s elite.
Defeat in Benfica means Barcelona have won just once in their last five matches this season
A tumultuous summer off the pitch has not helped Koeman’s cause, with Barcelona announcing a £1.15billion debt which saw talisman and captain Lionel Messi let go to PSG in order to cover costs, while Antoine Griezmann also departed for rivals Atletico Madrid.
While attacking signings such as Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero have come in, the latter was ruled out of the start of the season with a long-term injury, while Depay and other signings Eric Garcia and Luuk de Jong have failed to prosper as of yet.
Those woes were clear to see at Benfica on Wednesday night as Barcelona fell behind early on to Darwin Nunez’s early goal before two in ten minutes from Rafa Silva and Nunez made the Champions League tie a rout for the Portuguese outfit.
Garcia was sent off towards the end for a second bookable offence, while Gerard Pique was hauled off on 33 minutes as he ran the risk of a second yellow card.