BARCELONA – Ronald Koeman, a collector of titles with 27 trophies in his record (19 as a player and 8 as a coach) since he conquered the Eredivisie in 1985 as an Ajax footballer, will play his first final with Barcelona on Sunday 26 years after the more recently, when under Johan Cruyff and in his last campaign as a Barça player he won the Spanish Super Cup against Zaragoza.
The Dutchman, who can release his showcase as a Barça coach, has added 8 championships since in 2002 he achieved, also with Ajax, the Eredivisie, two and a half years after leaving his post in Van Gaal’s coaching staff at Barça to start his career as a head coach with Vitesse.
Super champion in the Netherlands with Ajax first and AZ later, and in Portugal with Benfica, with Barça he aspires to achieve the Spanish title against Athletic Bilbao in what would be the ninth personal trophy in his coaching career and first as a Barça player after having won ten championships as a footballer between 1990 and 1995.
During his career as a footballer, Ronald played a total of 20 finals divided between Ajax, PSV, Barcelona, Feyenoord and the Dutch national team, with a balance of 11 wins and 9 losses. As a coach, leading Ajax, Benfica, PSV, Valencia, AZ and the national team, the current Barça coach added nine finals, of which he won 5 and lost 4. The last of them in front of the Netherlands and against Portugal in the final of the Nations League.
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Since his signing for Barcelona in the summer of 1989 (although this became official on January 21 of that year) and until his departure to Feyenoord at the end of the 1994-95 season, Koeman played 264 official Barça matches and won ten titles : four in the League, three in the Spanish Super Cup and one European Cup, one European Super Cup and one King’s Cup.
During his stay at the Camp Nou, he also played 12 finals, of which he won in six and lost the remaining ones, so this Sunday the Dutchman will have the opportunity to break this statistic that began with a defeat against Milan and ended with victory. against Zaragoza.
The Dutchman inaugurated his finals record by losing the European Super Cup of the 1989-90 season against Milan (played in a double game) by 1-2. After equalizing at the Camp Nou (1-1), a lone goal by Evani at San Siro on December 7, 1989 gave the Italians the title. Four months later, at the Mestalla, he lifted his first trophy as a Barcelona player by winning the Copa del Rey final (2-0) against Real Madrid at Quinta del Buitre.
In December 1990 his Barça was defeated by Real Madrid (1-5 overall) in the Spanish Super Cup, and on May 15, 1991, three days after being proclaimed champion of the League in Spain, he lost the final of the Recopa de Europe against Manchester United 1-2.
In October 1991 he won the Spanish Super Cup (2-1 global) against Atlético de Madrid and on May 20, 1992 he reached eternity by winning the first Barça European Cup at Wembley, beating Sampdoria with his legendary goal in the extension. Already in the following campaign, in November, he repeated the Spanish Super Cup against Atlético (5-2) a month before suffering the disappointment of the defeat in the Intercontinental held in Tokyo and in which Barça lost (1-2) against to the Sao Paulo of Telé Santana.
On March 10, 1993, Koeman’s Barça won its first European Super Cup by beating German Werder Bremen 3-2 in the two-legged final, eight months before Real Madrid again defeated them 4-2, also a double game, in the Spanish Super Cup.
That happened six months before the probably saddest defeat of his career as a Barça player, on May 18, 1994 in Athens and crushed by AC Milan (0-4) in Athens. His last final, and his last title, as a Barcelona player he achieved it in the Spanish Super Cup that faced Zaragoza and that the Barça team won a double game 6-5, although Koeman did not play the second leg in which Johan Cruyff resolved to give him rest.