Leeds United defender Junior Firpo has slammed Ronald Koeman and even accused his former manager of spreading misinformation about him during his time at Barcelona.
The Whites signed the left-back from the La Liga side in the last window and he arrived at Elland Road after spending two seasons at the Camp Nou.
Barca signed the 25-year-old from Real Betis in 2019 and in his debut season with the Catalan club, he played under Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setién. Koeman was then brought into the club last August.
Junior Firpo struggled for minutes with the Spanish giants, clocking in over 2,200 minutes from 41 matches across all competitions in two seasons.
Marcelo Bielsa’s man appeared as a guest on Cadena Ser’s program, Què T’hi Jugues, and the defender didn’t hold back when crticising the former Everton manager.
“I asked Koeman for explanations [for lack of minutes] until one day he starts lying to me,” the Leeds player said.
“At that point, when the coach starts lying to you and you realise he’s cheating on you… why would you keep asking him for explanations if he’s going to cheat on you over and over again.”
“He lied to me because he told me things that don’t make sense, that I train poorly, that I contaminate the group… things like that. You can ask any of the players who are still in the squad and they will agree with me. I don’t know what it means that I contaminate the group, I suppose he meant my attitude.”
“I don’t know in what sense a young boy who has just arrived is going to contaminate a group that has won everything and have been there all their lives. My opinion is not going to change their way of training at all or absolutely nothing.”
Cadena Ser points out the defender ‘lost his enthusiasm’, but his friends and family gave him the strengthen to continue.
“There was disrespect, not only to me, but to all teammates. I will never understand that after a game, when the substitutes train the next day, Koeman stayed in his room while we were training,” Junior explained.
“If I have to show you that I have to play and you don’t tell me… the only way I have to show you is in training.”
“When the whole group trains it is more complicated, we are many, we do quick exercises and they are tired to play the game. The day I have to show you that I want to play is the day after the game where the substitutes train hard… and you are not here.”
Junior also detailed how things are different with Bielsa at Leeds, when compared to what he experienced at Barcelona.
“We didn’t watch videos of the opponents. Not with Valverde, not with Quique, not with Koeman,” he stressed.
“There was talk of the opponent, but not exhaustive video. Sometimes we did see some video of a rival of a major match. I don’t think we watched videos of ourselves to improve. With Bielsa we see many, he is antagonistic. There has to be some middle ground.”
Junior has made 10 league appearances this season for Leeds.