Jordi Cruyff: "I would never replace Koeman, I have principles"
In an interview given to sports daily 'MARCA', Joan Laporta's sporting advisor said that Koeman's departure "is not something that I or anyone at the club are considering"
In an interview given to 'MARCA', Jordi Cruyff went on record to say that "the idea of replacing [Ronald] Koeman is not something that I or anyone at the club is considering. It would be an ugly thing to do, I have principles". These were the words of the former Barça player, who on 1 August will assume an "all-encompassing role that will cover various areas [of the club's operations]", but without being given a specific brief.
"The idea of replacing Koeman has not even crossed my mind, and it's not something that I plan on doing. I've known Ronald for nearly 30 years and he knows that he can count on me for help", Cruyff added, before stating that "Barça have approached me various times over the last four or five years for different positions, but I was always under contract and I wanted to honour my agreement". When asked about Koeman's first season at the helm, he said that "he had to deal with a lot of things at once [such as] economic issues, the Covid-19 pandemic, an interim board that made it impossible for the club to make decisions on transfers or plan for the future", adding that "Ronald was the face of the club during this turbulent period".
Cruyff didn't want to comment on Messi's contract renewal because "it's difficult to give an opinion as an outsider, and I haven't started working for the club yet". He added that "the rules of Spanish football are clear. Before tying Messi down to a new deal, we need to put in a lot of ground work and it's going to be tough. The good news is that he hasn't signed for any other club, and this proves that he genuinely wants to stay at Barça". He also heaped praise on Barça's young midfielder Pedri, saying that "he will define a new era for the club, the Spanish national team and for European football". He claims that he isn't concerned about the lack of rest of the Tenerife-born midfielder, since "when you're 18 years old you don't think about holidays, you just think about enjoying the moment and living your dreams".
However, the new member of Barça's technical structure and advisor to Joan Laporta also understands the club's stance of "wanting to protect [the player], because it's not normal to not have any rest during pre-season, or to take a holiday when the club is beginning their season". The 'new' Barça will be comprised by young talents such as Pedri, but the club will also need to know how to put together a balanced squad. Cruyff's father, Barça legend Johan, always had it clear: "I always trust young players, but you also need a constant balance between young players, veterans and those in their prime".