Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has said he hopes to return to Catalonia and coach Barcelona “one day,” though he still has goals to accomplish at the helm of the national team.
Koeman, 56, made 252 appearances in six years for the Blaugrana, with whom he won four Spanish league trophies (1991-94), as well as one European Cup (1992), a European Super Cup, one Copa del Rey (1990) and more.
Quique Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde at the Barca helm after the latter was sacked in January. Koeman was one of the names linked with the job at the time, but he told Marca he had no regrets over not taking the role:
“No, I don't think it was a bad time. What happened is that I have my motives with the Netherlands. Barcelona can always win big things, they have very good players, they have options to sign the best players... If I'd have been out of a job then sure, everyone likes Barcelona.
“It doesn't matter what situation they're in. I had my best spell as a player there, at Barcelona, and I have lots of love for the city. So, let's hope that I can coach Barcelona one day.”
The Catalan club appear content with Setien for the time being, at least. European football has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Lluis Miguelsanz of Sport wrote the former Real Betis boss will remain at their helm for the 2020-21 campaign.
Koeman is one of numerous legendary Dutchman to have represented Barcelona, a list including the likes of Johan Cruyff, Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars and Frank de Boer, to name a few.
It was the defender-cum-midfielder who won Barca the 1992 European Cup with a drilled free-kick in extra-time against Sampdoria, via Mundial:
The former Blaugrana assistant was in charge of Southampton when he addressed speculation regarding a return to the Camp Nou, seemingly calm over the rumours, via Football Daily:
His success with the Netherlands will have only boosted his chances of landing the position. He has brought through a wealth of Dutch talent and took De Oranje to the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League where they lost to Portugal.
Euro 2020’s postponement by 12 months means Koeman looks all the more certain to remain at their helm until at least that tournament is over, though Setien may cement his place in charge between now and then.