He went through Barcelona and reveals: 'Koeman told me I was contaminating the group'
Júnior Firpo does not have fond memories of his time at Camp Nou, between 2019 and 2021.
Júnior Firpo, a left-back currently playing for Leeds in the English second division, reflected this Wednesday on his brief stint at Barcelona between 2019 and 2021, which he does not remember fondly.
Signed for 20 million euros from Betis, the Spanish full-back was never able to secure a starting position, something he says he already knew would happen.
'If Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, or Liverpool come calling, it's very difficult to say no, even though you know you won't be a starter. There was Jordi Alba; I knew I wouldn't be the first choice and wouldn't have the prominence I had at Betis, but I would learn. When I was at Betis, I often told Lo Celso this when I got to the byline and passed him the ball. That was the play Jordi Alba and Messi used to make, and now I wanted to do it with Messi,' he explained in an interview with 'Relevo'.
Firpo regretted not having 'made the most' of his first season at the Catalan giant, calling it a 'disappointment' to himself. Regarding his second season, during which he coincided with Ronald Koeman, the current coach of the Netherlands national team, the defender made a curious revelation.
'Koeman gave me an answer in which he was not sincere. He told me that I was contaminating the group, so I stopped trying,' he pointed out, continuing his criticism of how he was managed by the coach.
'I believe Koeman didn't know me very well. He was the first to tell me to stay, but that didn't translate into playing time. I remember once when Jordi Alba got injured, and he put Dest as left-back. The minutes he gave me were on the right wing... I had several games where I played well, but he didn't give me continuity,' he concluded.
Over both seasons in which he wore the Barcelona jersey, Júnior Firpo recorded two goals and two assists in 41 matches for the club. He also won a Copa del Rey.