Ronald Koeman wants his Barcelona aspect to win huge when it visits Atlético Madrid to have a shot at saving his job.
That is, if he makes it to Saturday.
Two embarrassing losses to begin the Champions League have left the Dutch coach beneath excessive stress earlier than a visit to the capital to face the Spanish league’s titleholder.
Losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich, a European juggernaut, two weeks in the past was humbling. But to comply with that up with one other 3-0 loss at Benfica — a workforce it had not misplaced to since 1961 — on Wednesday could also be an excessive amount of for the membership’s management to take.
Club president Joan Laporta and Koeman have been at odds since Laporta returned to run the membership final March. Laporta went so far as to search for one other coach within the low season earlier than lastly deciding on holding Koeman for the second yr of his contract.
Laporta and Koeman have shared the necessity to persuade Barcelona’s followers to decrease expectations because the membership was saddled with over a billion euros in debt and unable to pay Lionel Messi’s wages. But the workforce has hit new lows that even with the exit of the almighty Messi are troublesome to take.
A sixth-place standing within the Spanish league has virtually grow to be respectable for the previous champion in comparison with its dismal displaying within the Champions League.
Koeman’s ways towards Benfica, nevertheless, had been additionally questionable. Instead of changing Gerard Pique with one other defender when he picked up an early yellow card, Koeman shifted Frenkie de Jong into his backline.