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Ronald Koeman
Gender Male
Ethnic Dutch
Job Dutch Footballer
Desc The most prolific goalscoring defender ever, Koeman rocketed in an incredible 239 goals in 685 club appearances. A further 14 in the famous Oranje shirt means he stands on 253 total goals - 78 more than Passarella in second place. Koeman excelled in the sweeper position. He was an adroit long range passer of the ball and was known for both his shooting accuracy and power. During his 17 seasons at club level he only failed to enter double figures for goals on four occasions, netting a breathtaking 26 strikes in 46 games for PSV in 1987/88

Affiliation

Org Dutch National Team
Club as Coach Everton
  Southampton
Club as Player Barcelona FC
  PSV

2015 10 24 Retrieve

[Southampton manager Ronald Koeman offering a message of support to friend and former coach Johan Cruyff following the Dutch legend’s lung cancer diagnosis] He was my favourite coach. I played six years being coached by Johan Cruyff. Not only the relationship between player and coach but also as friends - we always had Christmases together in Barcelona at that time. It is sad news and I wish all the best to him and his family. He was always a winning man - a winning football player and a winning coach. I hope that he will win this battle also

2015 12 21 Retrieve

[on Messi, Suarez, and Neymar] Their (Barcelona’s) attack right now is amazing. Their attack was already very powerful with Messi, but it is unrivalled with Suarez and Neymar alongside him

2016 08 25 Retrieve

[Hart is facing career limbo, with his dropping as City’s first-choice keeper. It had been reported that a loan move to Everton broke down after City refused to subsidise any of Hart’s £135,000-a-week wage, however Koeman was adamant on Thursday that he has never been interested in bringing the player to Goodison Park] No…no. Like everyone we’re trying to improve, to make the squad stronger that we have at the moment. But I’m not that manager who speaks a lot about rumours, about players. Everyone will see at the end of the transfer window what the final squad at Everton is

2016 09 14 Retrieve

[Quotes on Luis Suarez] I know him since his time at Ajax. He showed what a great player he was, too good for the Dutch league, so he went to Liverpool. He had a difficult start at Barcelona but he has shown since then that he is a fantastic player

2016 10 15 Retrieve

[Everton are sixth in the table following the draw, a result Koeman welcomed given the quality of opposition] I am satisfied with a point because not many teams leave this stadium with a point. You need to be a little bit lucky and a goalkeeper to have the match of his life, and you need a [high] work-rate from your team. [The result is] a big compliment to the team because we fought. They [City] were the better team, had the chances, missed two penalties but it’s a final score of 1-1. I said yesterday to the rest of the staff that we need to be prepared for three defenders from Pep [Guardiola]. We took a risk to start with three forward players. That is why we changed after 20 minutes to deal with that

[Koeman had little sympathy for the struggles of De Bruyne and Aguero from the spot] If they miss penalties it’s the problem of City! We know we are difficult to beat. They [City] are the best team football-wise we have faced this season

2016 10 27 Retrieve

[Quote on Ruud Gullit] There was a period in the late-‘80s when Ruud rivalled Diego Maradona as the world’s best player, and in virtually any position - centre half, winger, centre-midfield or up front. But for injuries, Ruud would’ve achieved even more than he did

2016 10 28 Retrieve

[Quote on Frank Rijkaard] His move to Milan in 1988 was the making of him - Arrigo Sacchi transformed him into an aggressive, world-class holding midfielder who could score goals, too. Dunga, Desailly, Keane and Vieira all performed that role brilliantly, but Frank is the best holding player ever

2017 04 21 Retrieve

[Everton starlet Tom Davies is England’s next star] I did not need to tell [Tom] what he had done right. The whole world had told him that. I used to look at Mikel Arteta and aspire to be out there playing alongside my heroes and, obviously, Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley who came through the Academy here, too, have been inspirational figures for me

2017 05 06 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman revealed his desire to coach his former club Barcelona in the future] Everyone knows that I am from Barça, they know my love for a club where I grew up as a player and as a person. In football, as in life, as in business, everything can be talked about and discussed. In my life as a professional coach, I have two dreams to fulfil. One, coach the selection of my country, Holland [he was previously assistant to Guus Hiddink at the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™]. My other wish, my other dream, is to one day coach Barça. That’s the truth. I now owe to Everton. We have a very powerful and exciting project and we will reinforce our best to try to reach next season the [UEFA] Champions League

2017 07 17 Retrieve

[Koeman attracts to Cuco Martina’s versatility] Cuco Martina is an experienced player who can perform in different positions at the back, which is important. It’s also important, with the number of games we will face in the coming campaign, that we have strength and competition in the squad. I brought the player to Southampton, so I know what he can do for us here and this is why I’ve now brought him to Everton. He is a player who will strengthen our squad and be able to play in different positions when that’s needed, too

2017 07 29 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman says Wayne Rooney can lead the Toffees to the next level] He has a lot of experience. He is an important player on the pitch, but also important for his team-mates and certainly the young players to show them what you need to do to reach that high standard of football. That means he needs to be a leader off the pitch, and if I see how he’s working and what he’s doing with all the players, it’s really what we want. Every day in training so far and in the friendlies, you see why he’s one of the best in his position and one of the best players

2017 10 24 Tweet

[Everton have announced that David Unsworth will take temporary charge of the first-team beginning with Wednesday’s EFL Cup tie at Chelsea following Ronald Koeman’s sacking] Everton can confirm David Unsworth will take temporary charge of the Everton first team, commencing with tomorrow night’s @Carabao_Cup tie

2019 01 19 Retrieve

[Koeman tells that Matthijs de Ligt is destined to become the world’s best centre-back in the near future] De Ligt and [Frenkie] de Jong are special for various reasons. De Ligt is younger, 19, and plays in an important position, as a centre-back. He’s the Ajax captain and from their school. That is to say Barça’s school, because it means that he has a lot of technical quality and tactical nous. He will be the best centre-back in the world in two years

2019 03 23 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman divulges the key factors behind the turnaround he’s spearheading for the Netherlands] It’s true there was a lot of negativity at the time - maybe too much - but I always believed I could help improve things. Now the stadiums are sold out for national team matches again, and that hadn’t been the case in the last few years

2019 04 14 Retrieve

[Struggling to establish himself at Barca, Deulofeu went on loan spells at Everton and Sevilla before joining the former permanently in 2015. Despite producing quality performances on Merseyside sporadically under Martinez, he was eventually frozen out once the Spanish manager was sacked and replaced by Ronald Koeman] You can see with Gerard Deulofeu that it’s still not there for 90 minutes. It’s all about the work-rate of the player

2019 05 28 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman refused to confirm he will stay on as Netherlands head coach, despite speculation linking him to Barcelona] I think this is about the Dutch national team, so I would like to leave it at that.

[Asked if he was willing to give assurances that he will stay on as Oranje head coach] That would be very easy, but I will not

[Despite a gruelling campaign for the Ajax contingent in his squad, Koeman insists the Eredivisie winners’ run to the semi-finals of the Champions League can only be considered a positive] It was great to watch the development of Ajax players this season. The success in Europe hasn’t proved to be prohibitive for development. Many players have grown as a result. But by looking at how the guys have trained, you wouldn’t have the idea that they’re thinking that the season’s over already. I don’t see that they’re struggling with a few more matches, or that they’re tired

2019 06 02 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman says it is ‘not the right moment’ for him to become head coach of Barcelona] I conformed myself to the KNVB. If you’ve done only one year and there’s one year left to the European Championships, it’s not the right moment. As far as I’m concerned, we can just put this speculation behind us. No matter what I say, there will always be people who say ‘if they [Barcelona] offer him a job, he will go anyway. The media will run those stories and I understand that. I know how I agreed this with the KNVB and for me, that’s enough

2019 06 03 Retrieve

[Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman says Virgil van Dijk deserves to beat Lionel Messi to Ballon d’Or glory] He deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. It’s usually handed to players who make or create decisive goals, but if there ever is a time to give it to a defender, it is now

In my opinion Messi is the best player but I also think you should win big trophies with your team to be a contestant.

[Reds players could line up in opposition this week, with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson among England’s squad. Ahead of the match in Portugal, Koeman said of Van Dijk and Wijnaldum] On Tuesday we will drink a cup of coffee and we’ll talk about it. But if it’s only up to me, they’ll play. That’s obvious

2019 06 03b Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman on current dutch national team] They spoke about crisis. People were saying: ‘We need to change the system and we need to learn from Germany and we need to learn from Belgium’. But that’s football. We are people in Holland that are creative, also in football, and the technique of players is the base of our football. It’s about the quality, it’s not about defending, it’s not about Catenaccio - it’s play to win and that style we need to keep

[In September last year, the Dutch were beaten 2-1 by France, but Van Dijk and De Ligt had done enough to convince Koeman he had one of the best central defensive partnerships in the world] You always build the house from downstairs. You don’t start with the roof. When you look at Virgil now, this is a big, big personality on the pitch. He is strong, he has a great character and enjoys the responsibility

[Ronald Koeman on De Ligt] If you watch him play, you do not see a player who is only 19. You see a player who plays with so much more experience than he actually has

[Ronald Koeman reviews his team]The most important was the first match, away against France. We lost 2-1 in the end. But in that game, against the world champions, we got the feeling we can beat them. That we can play on this high level. The atmosphere around the national team has changed. That is down to the players and how we started in the Nations League

[Koeman is hoping to find more young stars to improve his senior side] We have a good team, a good balance between young players and more experienced players. We have good defenders, enough good midfielders, the offensive side is a little bit minimum in our choices and we know that - hopefully the boys from the Under-17s come through the system

I was 26 when I moved to Barcelona and now they move at 19 or even younger. We know in Holland it is difficult to keep them because the level of the competition is not the strongest and to be a better, stronger player you need to make a transfer

When I speak to the boys in the national team and they ask ‘what is best for me?’ I tell them it is the best club but you need to play, you need regular game time, you need that to improve

[Ronald Koeman on Cruyff] Cruyff said to me ‘sometimes you need to play in the middle yourself, because then they can see and learn from you’. He said if you are sometimes involved in sessions yourself you see much more, and you also hear more if they have good communications

Everybody will say ‘Look, Holland is back on track’. We are proud because we had a bad time over the last four or five years with the national team. The goal now is to qualify for the Euros, and if you play in the Euros you like to win the Euros

2019 06 05 Retrieve

[Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman says he is not concerned by England midfielder Declan Rice’s promise to play dirty when the two sides meet in the Nations League semi-final] [Playing dirty] is not possible aymore, we have VAR. But we also have players who can stand up to that. Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt for example. The best centre-back pairing in the world? One of the best, I think. But you have to look at the total picture. With Virgil, I look at the total picture. In training sessions or off the field, how he ensures that there is a mutual respect. That the atmosphere is good. That everyone is on time. He is working on that. Daley Blind, Georginio Wijnaldum and Kevin Strootman too. They are examples of how you should behave as a top player. The Nations League is starting to liven up, I might not have expected that when we started it. We feel it is about something. That’s good to see.

[Koeman expects Van Dijk to add to his collection of winners’ medals, while he hopes De Ligt makes the right choice over his future] We are really happy that we have these kinds of defenders in the national team. One is only 19, he needs to make a good decision for his future but he will do that and he is progressing well. Of course Virgil is a bit more experienced, he won his first big title. I think you need to win big titles to really become a star. Matthijs had a great season in the Champions League and will choose what is best for his future

I spoke to Matthijs a week ago about his future and that’s secret. What I told all the young players thinking about making a step, the most important thing is to keep playing, keep getting minutes to develop your football. The way the club is playing matters. He, his family and his agent can help make the best decision

2019 06 07 Retrieve

[Frenkie de Jong’s defensive aptitude impressed Ronald Koeman as Netherlands beat England 3-1 after extra time] Of course he was player of the match, it was well deserved. Most of the people are always looking at what he does with the ball, how calm he is, but in defence how many balls he is winning in midfield - it’s fantastic to see Frenkie play like this. It looks so easy but it isn’t, it was really well deserved tonight.

[Koeman feels the clash between Van Dijk and Ronaldo should not be allowed to overshadow Sunday’s showpiece in Porto] It isn’t a battle between two players, it’s Portugal and Holland. We know it’s impossible sometimes to have good defending against Cristiano Ronaldo but we want to keep the ball, with good possession, as then he can do nothing in attack. We don’t stop after tonight. There’s always something to improve, but we are in a good way, the team is happy and confident in the way we like to play. We have big talents coming through, experience in the team, two players who won the Champions League, this experience to play and win a semi-final, then play the final on Sunday, it makes everything much easier

2019 06 08 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman believes Netherlands’s defensive stars Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt can shackle Cristiano Ronaldo when they take on Portugal in Sunday’s Nations League final] We played a friendly in Switzerland, not a long time ago, and De Ligt was stopping Ronaldo as well. It’s not only Van Dijk who can stop Ronaldo. But Ronaldo is good enough to create against really good defenders. That’s the nicest part of football - you can’t do anything because his quality is on such a high level.

We know in Holland we can play football but maybe the difference now is there is more focus, more togetherness, more energy in the team. This is what I think has made the improvement of this team

2019 06 09 Retrieve

[Van Dijk vs Ronaldo: What happens when the best defender meets the best striker?] We know he’s one of the best, and the nicest thing in football is that you cannot stop [a player like him] 100 percent [of the time] because sometimes he’s too good. We know the qualities of that player, and of course we need to defend well when we have the ball, we need good defensive organisation, but it’s not a special marking [system], one on one, because we don’t like that. But, Ronaldo is good enough to create [chances], even against really good defenders, and that’s the nicest part of football, that you can’t do everything because his quality is at such a high level that sometimes it’s difficult. They can stop him, of course, it’s all about the match and how it starts, and the ball possession, and that will be really important for us.

2019 06 10 Retrieve

[Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman believes his team need to find greater attacking potency to truly become a force on the world stage again] We want to go on and push forward. We were not good enough, perhaps that is the case for tonight. But that is putting it negatively knowing the whole campaign we’ve had. We knew we had to be at our best and we were not. We know we made big steps in one year in the campaign of the Nations League. Against Germany, France, England, Portugal - maybe four of the strongest five or six teams in Europe. To make the next step maybe we need more time, more offensive strength is really important. To create more chances, to have what we missed tonight.

Portugal, as we expected, were very solid as a team. They are used to playing that way. They have had more time together than us. They are handsome in front, maybe we missed some of that creativity in our attacking play.

[Koeman was keen to underline praise for his players and the tournament] I think it’s great tournament if you look back through the whole season, if you see how happy Portugal was to win this prize. The intensity in the group was really high and the idea to organise the Nations League was a perfect one. We are looking forward to the next one.

2019 08 26 Retrieve

[Koeman hints De Ligt could be dropped from Netherlands line-up if he continues to sit on Juve bench] On the one hand, you assume that he is going to play because he makes a transfer for a lot of money. But if a club has Chiellini and Bonucci, it may be that the coach makes a different choice. The moment he chooses Juventus, he goes to another country and he has to learn a new language. That takes time, but of course, that should not take too long. I am not worried yet, but if this is still the case in October, then you will start thinking about the fact that he has no rhythm. It is something different than what he was used to at Ajax. In Italian football, certainly in his position, it’s going to be about zero (keeping a clean sheet). It’s less about the structure, like ours in the Netherlands

2019 09 03 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman believes Matthijs de Ligt is being played out of position at Juventus as he backed the defender after a tough debut] What is a shocker? It was also a question why he didn’t play the first match. Then he played because somebody else had an injury. He didn’t play well. He had a bad moment with the goal of Hirving Lozano. The other two goals were different. It was a free-kick that turned in and that’s always hard to defend. But yes, he didn’t play the way we want to see. I spoke to Matthijs today after lunch

[Koeman suggested De Ligt was struggling to adapt after his move from Ajax and also said he may be getting used in the wrong position] Sometime people take change too easily. I still have the newspapers of my first match at Barcelona. It was a disaster. We lost 2-0 and everybody was questioning my arrival. But if you asked them now about me I bet it’s different. So Matthijs is 20 years old. On the television they take changing to a new club very lightly. But I wouldn’t position him left in defence. I would have put Bonucci there. He is more experienced

2019 09 05 Retrieve

[Koeman refuted the suggestion Netherlands will be feeling extra pressure following their 3-2 home defeat to Germany in March] There’s always pressure on us. Especially now against Germany. From the outside, it may seem as though we have some pressure on our shoulders, because of our most recent meeting. We still have some spare games. I believe we can take a big leap with a good result against Germany tomorrow. In that case, the rest of the qualification will be a bit easier. If not, reaching the Euros should still be our main target, of course

2019 09 06 Retrieve

[Germany vs Netherlands. Ronald Koeman’s side have played at least one game fewer than their rivals in qualifying, which makes the table look ugly for the Dutch. However, he refuses to be intimated] The duel with Germany is not a key match. We have to get 12 points against Estonia and Belarus and be better in the two games with Northern Ireland

2019 09 07 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman saluted Netherlands for the resilience they displayed in Friday’s hard-fought 4-2 win away to Germany in Euro 2020 qualifying] The team that has done the most to win has earned it. The Germans also had a number of good chances, but I found Germany waiting [for opportunities]. We played to win the game more than they did. We kept our patience and while Germany had two good chances after the break, they maybe grew a little tired of closing all the gaps. In the second half they could no longer walk. In the first half we were not dangerous, we built it up a bit better in the second half. It turned out well. We have resilience, that’s great in this team. We have faith and are at peace

2019 09 06 Retrieve

[De Ligt will win his 18th Netherlands cap on Friday against Germany, lining up to the right of Virgil van Dijk in a formidable centre-back pairing and Koeman believes the fact he was not played in a similar role for Juventus was a big part of his debut disaster] What is a shocker? It was also a question why he didn’t play the first match. Then, he played because somebody else had an injury. He didn’t play well. He had a bad moment with the goal of [Hirving] Lozano. The other two goals were different. It was a free kick that turned in and that’s always hard to defend. But yes, he didn’t play the way we want to see. I spoke to Matthijs today after lunch. Sometimes, people take change too easily

I still have the newspapers of my first match at Barcelona. It was a disaster. We lost 2-0 and everybody was questioning my arrival. But if you ask them now about me I bet it’s different. So, Matthijs is 20 years old. On the television they take changing to a new club very lightly. But I wouldn’t position him left in defence. I would have put [Leonardo] Bonucci there. He is more experienced

2019 10 07 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman says Matthijs de Ligt needs to adapt to a new way of defending with Juventus] I’m always a big advocate for adapting to your new team, your new country and your new team-mates. I think he really does need to adapt to a new way of defending, because it’s different from the way he played at Ajax. Maybe that’s the ‘Italian school’. Bonucci said the same: he also needs to adapt to this kind of zonal marking [under head coach Maurizio Sarri] instead of the way they defended under [Massimiliano] Allegri. I think Matthijs needs time. But he’s already so good at this age. It would be weird if he didn’t have to learn anymore. Just before the last international break, there was lots of criticism, but he still played really well with the national team. I think this is a very nice environment for him. But with time, I think he’ll learn how to adapt to his new position at Juventus as well. I think he can reach a very high level both in our team and at Juventus

[Koeman is confident in his side’s chances of progressing as he considers their squad, particularly their attack, a rival for the world’s finest teams] I think we have a squad that is equal to the squads of other countries - and I’m talking about the best countries in the world. That’s also thanks to the development of our attacking players and upcoming talents that aren’t with the squad yet. They are so creative, dynamic and quick that they make us more dangerous offensively. In the past, that’s where we had some problems. But that’s also one of the reasons why we selected so many attackers [seven] and only five midfielders instead of six and more attackers. We have more choice than ever before

2019 10 08 Retrieve

[Netherlands national team boss Ronald Koeman says that he has told Sergino Dest that he sees a future in his side for the fullback] Nico-Jan Hoogma (technical director of the KNVB) And I have spoken with him. We have sketched the picture about his future with the Oranje. I don’t promise anyone, but I told him that I see a future for him at the Dutch national team

2019 10 09 Retrieve

[Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman confirms role with Dennis Bergkamp, Henrik Larsson and Dirk Kuyt in proposed takeover of League One club Wycombe Wanderers] I don’t know how close that is. I’m in the background, let me put it like that. I’m an advisor. If they want it I’m available for advice but I’m not the one who is going to invest, I’m not the one to decide how the process will continue

They have the dream to buy a club and they’re working on that but I’m not directly involved and I didn’t want that. I’ve been asked if they want some advice and if they think I can provide them with good advice I’m available. But I’m not really the one to talk about that a lot

2019 10 10 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman warned his Netherlands players that Euro 2020 qualification rivals Northern Ireland are fighting machines and will get you by the throat if given the chance] They are fighting machines. Perhaps they haven’t got the structure or quality technically but it’s very direct, direct confrontations. They are a team that can make the games difficult for any opponent and we have to see how we can find the solutions. If they can get at you, they will, and they will get you by the throat. You’ve got to be prepared for that.

It can be that home and away there is a difference in their game. I think they had the idea to perhaps try to finish Germany off and, for an hour, they were able to live with them and had the better opportunities. But from the moment they went 1-0 down, you can see the spaces increase and the Germans took advantage

[The Oranje lost 3-2 at home to Germany in their most recent qualifier on home turf in March, but Koeman backed the likes of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong to cope with the high-stakes scenario] We still have to qualify. Now we play both games against Northern Ireland for our ticket. It starts [on Thursday] and if we don’t get the result we want, it will be very painful. There is always pressure for Holland. We think that we’ve always got to play everywhere, and we’ve got the quality for that. I think that this team is very hungry. Not many players have played in the big tournaments and everyone wants to be there but there is always the development of a team. These two games against Northern Ireland are really important. There is pressure but the players are used to that - they play for big clubs and they’ve got to win so it’s no different to that

2019 10 12 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman has defended Matthijs de Ligt but says the Netherlands centre-back must alter his game at Juventus] It is clear that he has to make a change in the way he plays at his club. That can sometimes be at the expense of the confidence of a player, but Matthijs gets full confidence from us, and I am sure that in the end he will only get better

[Netherlands will be without Memphis Depay when they face Belarus on Sunday] It was too great a risk to let him play. Of course it is a shame, you always miss players like this, but luckily we have more good attackers. We had already made the decision to select an additional attacker. We are playing with three attackers tomorrow, and we have three behind them. That seems enough to me

[The state of the pitch in Minsk has made headlines but Koeman is unconcerned about the Dinamo Stadion surface] I took a look at it, but it didn’t even bother me that much. It didn’t matter that much that we now train on a side field

2019 11 03 Retrieve

[Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed that there is a clause in his contract that will allow him to move to Barcelona, but only after Euro 2020] The reveal was a bit unlucky from Nico-Jan. Let’s say it nicely. It shouldn’t have happened and we talked about that. You feed a rumour that isn’t interesting. When I joined the Dutch national team they’ve asked me whether or not to share the info with everyone, but I don’t mind a little white lie once in a while. The clause only involves Barcelona and it’s only valid for a moment after the Euro 2020. I’m not leaving now. That’s 100 per cent sure

[Koeman has reiterated his desire to return to the club in the future] In my opinion you join as a national coach for a two year period. After the Euros there will be an evaluation and maybe the KNVB says: ‘We did so bad at the tournament, we won’t go on’. Then we won’t proceed. But I have the opportunity to leave for one club and for one club only. I can easily say I won’t leave the Dutch national team for any other club in the world. I’ve mentioned quite often this is my dream club. It was a slip of the tongue from Nico-Jan. Maybe he thought ‘everyone knows that already’

2019 11 04 Retrieve

[Instrumental in convincing Ihattaren to choose Oranje was Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman who has great admiration for the player] Mo is a very young player who is developing tremendously. Also, he’s a regular with PSV already. These kind of talents you’d like to see to keep playing in Dutch football and I’m glad he made this decision. With the KNVB we did all we could to convince him. We had multiple chats with Mo and his family. We also spoke a lot through the phone. Also the role of PSV was important, especially John de Jong [director] and Mark van Bommel

2019 11 12 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman says Memphis Depay leaving Lyon and joining a bigger club would only benefit Netherlands] He plays at Lyon and is even their captain sometimes. The fact that he doesn’t play for the biggest team in the world clearly doesn’t have consequences for his place in the national team. But if he plays at a bigger club, that will also be better for us. Still, Lyon is also a big club that always plays in the Champions League. Again, the fact that he plays in Lyon doesn’t mean that he won’t be selected for the national team. You always hope that every player plays for the biggest clubs that actually compete for the big prizes. I think he’s the kind of player that should play at a club like that. If that’s in the Premier League or at any other big club, that would be great for him. But you have to ask him about his plans

[The forward also missed the 2-1 win in Belarus last month] It’s nearly the same injury as last time, but in the other leg. He’s very positive, because last time he was back on the pitch in about 10 to 12 days. It’s too early now to say if he makes the Northern Ireland match. It might be possible that he skips the first match, but plays the second against Estonia. We’ll have to wait how that develops day by day

[Koeman is targeting back-to-back wins to finish above Germany in Group C] It’s the last two matches, the earlier we qualify, the better. A draw might be enough. But I’d rather take six points and win the group. In the end, qualifying is our goal, but I’d rather finish first

2019 11 13 Retrieve

[Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has revealed that there is a possibility he could join Barcelona, but only after Euro 2020] [Joining Barcelona] is a possibility, but only after Euro 2020. I don’t know if I’ll keep [talking about the Barcelona job] in the future because it’s a bit strange to speak about the possibility of going to the club while you’re the Netherlands coach

2019 11 17 Retrieve

[Koeman admitted his side could have played better but stressed getting the point they needed to secure qualification was the most important thing] I am happy and proud of the team. In the end they only had two moments. I think we should have done more offensively, but we have reached the point that was needed for qualification and that is the most important thing. In the last few minutes I really opted for the 0-0, so I also brought on an extra defender with Nathan Ake. As a team, we always want more and to be better, but we have achieved a great result by qualifying for the European Championship. And that in a group with a great opponent like Germany and a tough opponent like Northern Ireland. I also just want to say that it is fantastic

2019 11 18 Retrieve

[Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman interjected to say he would call for his players to walk off the pitch if such an incident were repeated] Someone has to be the first. We all think about it but, in the end, nobody ever acts on it. Everybody seems to avoid the subject instead of doing something about it.

[Koeman says not enough strong action is being taken by national authorities] We are way too soft in the Netherlands. Everybody always says that we live in such a safe country. I don’t think we do

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman dismissed speculation linking him to La Liga champions Barcelona] I have two more years left on my contract with the [Dutch] national team and I do not like to talk about Barcelona. It’s uncomfortable for a lot of reasons; I currently have a job and it’s not fair to talk about this. If they come, they come; and if they don’t, they don’t. There are more important things [to worry about] in life

[While he’s since distanced himself from a return to Barcelona, Koeman did concede last month that it could happen after the Euros] [Joining Barcelona] is a possibility, but only after Euro 2020. I don’t know if I’ll keep [talking about the Barcelona job] in the future because it’s a bit strange to speak about the possibility of going to the club while you’re the Netherlands coach

2020 01 15 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman still has the newspaper clippings from the day after his Barcelona debut. The Blaugrana were beaten 2-0 at Valladolid and the Catalan press were distinctly underwhelmed by the Dutch defender’s display] It was a disaster. Everybody was questioning my arrival. But if you ask the people at Barca about me now, I bet it’s different!

2020 03 03 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman reveals he turned down Barcelona job after Ernesto Valverde sacking] Yes. I said ‘no’ because I am with the national team

De Jong plays a lot at Barca and that is positive. But he is playing in a different position than he is used to. But that is the decision of the coach. He’s very young, and from playing games, you learn a lot of things. But I think he plays differently with me in the national team

Not unfavourable in my opinion, it could have been harder. And the nice thing is that it is also countries that we have not played against, other than Italy. But the other two countries are less well known, so that’s nice. We have never played against Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is also interesting. I know the striker they have, [Edin] Dzeko, who has been playing at the highest level for a long time. But so much can still happen until we play the matches. First, we have to play the European Championships. Then we’ll see again

2020 03 18 Retrieve

[Euro delay sees Koeman’s Barcelona clause pushed back] The clause in my contract to go to Barcelona is for after the European Championship. No date has been mentioned, so now it’s after the European Championship in 2021. But I haven’t thought about it for a second anyway

[Netherlands were set to be without star Memphis Depay this year due to a knee injury] It’s a lucky break, but it’s a shame that the European Championship won’t be played now. We qualified at a good level, we were in good shape and we wanted to continue in this vein

De Jong plays a lot at Barca and that is positive. But he is playing in a different position than he is used to. But that is the decision of the coach. He’s very young, and from playing games, you learn a lot of things. But I think he plays differently with me in the national team

2020 03 20 Retrieve

[Koeman: Hopefully I can coach Barcelona one day but timing hasn’t been right so far] They called me and I said no because of the commitment I have with my national team

[He is eager to point out that he has not snubbed advances from the Liga giants for any other reason] 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

[when asked to give his take on the Blaugrana in 2019-20] That amount of possession isn’t relevant if you only create two or three chances. Playing against Napoli away from home [in the Champions League] is tough because they got lots of people behind the ball and it’s difficult to open them up and create chances. A team needs, above all, a quick player. Look at the amount of problems Vinicius [Junior] caused Barcelona [against Real Madrid]. At the moment, they don’t have much depth and they need someone with a good touch. In midfield, they have players with the same type of characteristics. I saw Ansu Fati doing very well because of his pace and they need a player like him because the others play to receive the ball.

2020 03 21 Retrieve

[Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman won’t rule out managing Barcelona in the future, despite turning down the job in January] 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

2020 04 13 Retrieve

[The injury had looked set to rule Depay out of Netherlands’ Euro 2020 campaign this summer but the coronavirus pandemic has caused the tournament to be postponed until 2021] We have regular contact. I went to him in Rome. I know about his recovery. It looks positive. It’s a long way for him still

2020 04 28 Retrieve

[The Games That Defined Modern Football: Barcelona 1-0 Sampdoria (1992)] It was the beginning of big changes. After four years, my mission had been accomplished

2020 05 03 Retrieve

[Netherlands manager Koeman hospitalised with heart problems] Everyone at Everton would like to wish former boss Ronald Koeman a speedy recovery

2020 05 07 Retrieve

[Koeman says he feels ‘very healthy’ after being hospitalised with heart problems] That was quite a shock, last weekend. For me, but above that for my family and friends. Thankfully the doctors helped me swiftly and amazingly and I’m very grateful for that. You get very humble from an event like this. It was great to see how many people were moved. I’m thankful for all the sweet messages from people I know and from clubs, but also from people I have never met. That strengthened me and I’m very thankful for that. At this moment I feel very healthy. That means I will continue my work with full strength, as soon as the ball starts rolling again. Again: thanks for all the support. We’ll see each other soon

2020 06 07 Retrieve

[Ronald Koeman said everyone knows it’s my dream to coach Barcelona] I had a phone call [from Barca], as I’ve explained many times. But I want to keep my word with the national team, I thought we’d have Euro 2020 this summer. I’m happy with how things are with the national team and for me, that’s the most important thing at the moment. None of us know what will happen in the future. In my contract, there is a clause that will let me leave the national team job after the Euros but now’s not the time to be thinking about that. Everyone knows it’s my dream to coach Barca. Hopefully I might have the opportunity to do so in the future. But as always, that depends on your performance and successes as a coach - you need a lot of experience to coach a team like Barca

It’s really difficult for me to say what I think about Barca. Today’s Barca isn’t the same as [Pep] Guardiola, but it’s still a fantastic team. Because of [Frenkie] De Jong, I’ve been watching more of their games. I hope they go on to win La Liga. As for the Champions League, they’ll need to improve to be in a chance of winning it

I think De Jong is a player who can adapt to a new position in midfield, playing a little further forward. But I still think his best position is just in front of the back four - where [Sergio] Busquets plays. That’s his best position- where he plays for the national team and where he played with Ajax. It’s not a bad thing to adapt to other positions. He’s still only young and you have to give young players time. In no time he will show his quality with Barca. He’s done that with Ajax and with the national team. I’m in no doubt that he’s the right player for Barca. He knows he can do more, but he’s taking it all with calm because he’s happy at Barca

2020 08 25 Retrieve

[Lionel Messi’s meeting with Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman allegedly triggered the Argentine to ask for a move] The privileges in the squad are over. I’m going to be inflexible, you have to think about the team