Ronald Koeman Profile
|Born||Mar 21, 1963|
Once a talented defender for Ajax, PSV and Barcelona, Koeman has since become one of the most recognisable coaches in world soccer and is the current manager of Barcelona.
Born into a sporting family, Ronald Koeman quickly found his own way into soccer and starred as a player at Ajax, PSV and Barcelona.
Now, the Dutchman has transformed into a manager, and has found success on the touchline too. He is currently the manager of Spanish side FC Barcelona.
A Dutch treble
After humble beginnings at Groningen as a teenager, it took Koeman just three years to earn himself a move to the Netherlands' most successful club, Ajax.
At Ajax, Koeman nailed down a starting spot and helped the side to the 1984/85 Eredivisie title. In the following season, the iconic Johan Cruyff took charge of the side, a player Koeman later referred to as "the game's greatest ever player".
However, under Cruyff Ajax failed to retain their title, and Koeman made a dramatic switch to Ajax's rivals, PSV Eindhoven - the side that beat Ajax to the title.
A move that many deemed controversial worked out for Koeman, as they went on to defend their title under Guus Hiddink, before going on to win two further consecutive league titles.
However, domestic success wasn't the peak of Koeman's PSV career. In the 1987/98 season, PSV not only managed to also win the KNVB Cup, but also won their only European Cup to date, after beating Benfica.
Remarkably, Koeman managed to find the net 51 times in 98 appearances across his three seasons with PSV.
Rejoining Cruyff at Barcelona
After his success in his native Netherlands, Koeman rejoined former manager Johann Cruyff at Barcelona in 1989.
Alongside players such as Romario, Michael Laudrup and fellow manager Pep Guardiola, Koeman formed part of Cruyff's 'dream team' that went on to dominate in Spain during the 1990s.
Barcelona managed to win four consecutive league titles between 1991 and 1994, as well as the club's first European Cup after beating Sampdoria at Wembley - Koeman scored the only goal of the game.
In 1995, Koeman returned to the Netherlands to join Feyenoord. He eventually hung up his boots in 1997, took a small break from the sport, and returned to become a coach.
Becoming Ajax manager
After starting out as a coach for the Netherlands team and a small stint as assistant manager at Barcelona, Koeman was given his first chance as a manager with Vitesse.
However, after just a year, Koeman was made an offer he simply couldn't refuse, and he took charge of Ajax in 2001.
But, just like most films, the sequel tends to disappoint, and Koeman's time as manager didn't go quite to plan.
It started well for the Dutch manager, as he won a domestic double in 2001/02 as well as the league title in 2003/04, but Koeman's side fell well behind their rivals in 2004/05, and coupled with a disappointing UEFA Cup exit to Auxerre, Koeman resigned from his role in 2005.
Bouncing back from disappointment with Benfica, PSV and Valencia
Following the disappointing end to his reign at Ajax, Koeman wasted no time in snapping up the opportunity to take charge of Benfica.
Now in charge of the team he defeated in the 1988 European Cup, Koeman managed to win the Portuguese Super Cup, and helped the side to the Champions League quarter finals, beating Manchester United on their way.
However, a poor league position paired with an enticing offer from PSV was enough to sway Koeman to resign and move back to the Netherlands.
At PSV, Koeman again only stayed one season at the helm, but managed to win the league with his former side, as well as reach the Champions League quarter finals again, this time beating Arsenal before losing to eventual winners Liverpool.
The following season saw Koeman take charge of Spanish side Valencia. Continuing his streak of silverware, Koeman led his side to win the Copa Del Ray - Valencia's first since 1999.
However, yet again the league standings proved to be a stumbling block for Koeman, and after slipping to 15th in the table, Valencia decided to sack him in April 2008.
Ronald Koeman's Premier League years with Southampton and Everton
After taking charge of yet another former club, Feyenoord, Koeman left trophyless after four years to pursue other ambitions. Those ambitions happened to be in the Premier League.
The Dutch duo hit the ground running with the Saints, winning four of his first six games in charge to earn him a Premier League Manager of the Month award.
In his first season in charge, Koeman managed to lead Southampton to a very respectable 7th place finish, as well as managing their first win against Manchester United since 1988.
But Koeman managed to improve further in his second season, leading his squad to 6th in 2015/16 with their highest ever points total, and earning them Europa League qualification.
As a result of his success, Koeman was highly sought after, and was snapped up in 2016 by Everton who had finished a disappointing 11th.
Again backed by his brother on the touchline, Koeman managed to improve the Toffees and finished 7th, again qualifying for the Europa League.
However, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku - who had scored 25 goals in 2016/17 - made a £75million switch to Manchester United, leaving Koeman without his talisman up top.
The Dutch boss was backed by Everton's owners, and was handed a hefty £150million budget for 2017/18, but Koeman himself admitted at the end of the window that he failed to replace the big Belgian, after a failed move for Olivier Giroud.
Everton's lack of a goalscorer cost them hugely in 2017/18, and in October they found themselves battling in the relegation zone. As a result, Koeman was relieved of his role at Goodison Park.
International duties with the Netherlands
After his dismissal at Everton, Koeman took charge of his native Netherlands side, who had recently missed out on both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.
With pressure on him to ensure his country didn't fail to qualify for yet another major international tournament, Koeman made a number of changes to the side, including calling up a number of new young players such as Frenkie De Jong and Denzel Dumfries.
Under Koeman's tutelage, the Netherlands qualified for Euro 2020, ending their run of failures on the international stage.
However, before the tournament rolled around, Koeman left his role in 2020 to take charge of FC Barcelona. He was replaced by Frank De Boer, but Louis van Gaal now leads the squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Koeman's troubles with Barcelona
A member of the famed 1990s dream team, Koeman returned to Camp Nou hoping to turn around their fortunes.
Barcelona had recently suffered an embarrassing exit from the Champions League, following an 8-2 drubbing from Bayern Munich.
A disastrous start which saw the Catalonian side register their lowest number of points from the opening six games (8) wasn't the return Koeman was dreaming of, but a string of good results helped him turn it around and finish 3rd.
Despite disappointment in La Liga, Koeman did manage to win the 2020/21 Copa Del Rey after beating Athletic Bilbao, but Barcelona struggled again in Europe, losing 5-2 on aggregate to Paris Saint-Germain.
A chaotic summer followed, which included club legend Lionel Messi leaving the club for PSG amid financial difficulties and controversy surrounding the board.
Despite this, club president Joan Laporta confirmed that Koeman would retain his role in charge of the club for 2021/22.
After seven games, Barca sat 7th in the table, and a shock 3-0 defeat to Benfica in the Champions League only piled pressure onto Koeman.
Despite rumours of a potential sacking, Barcelona decided to keep faith with Koeman, who will be keen to turn around his fortunes at Camp Nou.
Ronald Koeman was born into a sporting family that includes older brother Erwin and father Martin, a former manager of the Netherlands team.
When Erwin took charge of the Oman national team, they became the first brotherly duo to take charge of two national sides at the same time.
Ronald is married to Bartina Koeman, and their son Ronald Koeman Jr is a professional goalkeeper for FC Oss in the second tier of Dutch soccer.
During the 2020 transfer window, Koeman was central to a three-part documentary about him titled 'Forca Koeman'.
While an official figure is unknown, it is estimated that Koeman's net worth is around Â£8million.
Ronald Koeman News
- Jan 12, 2023