News Live Scores
Barcelona

Koeman told Fernandes he isn't good enough for Barcelona as midfielder accuses coach of having 'personal problem'

11:28 BST 28/05/2021
Matheus Fernandes Ronald Koeman
The Brazilian made his way to Camp Nou during the summer of 2020 but was restricted to just one appearance in his debut campaign

Matheus Fernandes has accused Ronald Koeman of having a "personal problem" with him, with the Dutch coach telling the Brazilian that he does not "have the quality to play for Barcelona".

The highly-rated 22-year-old midfielder was snapped up by the Blaugrana in January 2020 and allowed to take in a loan spell at Real Valladolid before making his way to Camp Nou.

Koeman had inherited the reins before a debut campaign in Catalunya was opened, and Fernandes found himself restricted to just 17 minutes of game time off the bench in a Champions League group-stage clash with Dynamo Kiev.

What has been said?

Asked by Mundo Deportivo on why he was frozen out, a puzzled Fernandes said: "I think Koeman has some personal problem against me.

"A month after my debut against Dynamo and not having played after, I went to Koeman’s office and asked ‘Did I play badly?’. He replied: ‘No, you played well, but I can’t give you chances. I don’t count on you. You don’t have the quality to play for Barca'."

The South American added: "In training, I was always in defence or on the wings – out of my natural position. 

"And there were days when I didn’t even train. I just warmed up but I wasn’t involved with the whole group."

Confusing saga

Fernandes got an early indicator that life at Barca may not play out as he had hoped when his official unveiling was cancelled amid the furore sparked by Lionel Messi's bid to leave the club.

Josep Maria Bartomeu was then forced out of his presidential office, leaving a new arrival in limbo and wondering what his immediate and long-term future holds.

Fernandes added on the confusion around his arrival: "I can understand that because it was a very delicate moment. 

"The day they were going to present me was the day Leo’s burofax arrived. Then, there was no president.

"It is not a good thing, but it can happen. Although, I hope that this will not happen again. 

"It is a bit strange and there are some things that I don’t understand. I know the same as you – nothing – because they [the board] never talked to me.

"For me, the best option is to stay here, but I don’t know what the club thinks. If I have to leave to get minutes, I will."

Further reading