This Friday, 1st of August is the 25th anniversary of Ronald Koeman’s debut for FC Barcelona, in the 1989 preseason, in a match played in Holland.
Ronald Koeman will always be present in the minds of Barcelona fans, thanks to the goal he scored which won FC Barcelona’s first ever European Cup, at Wembley in 1992. Signed in January 1989, it was said at the time that he might join before the end of the 1988/89 season, and be freed from some of the important commitments with PSV Eindhoven. But it was not to be and coach Johan Cruyff would have to wait until the start of the 1989/90 season to be able to have ‘Tintín’ in his team.
Koeman made his Barça debut on August 1, 1989, in his own country, in a preseason tour match with his new team against amateur side VV Buitenpost. He couldn’t have had a more placid start when you consider the huge difference in class between the two sides and looking at the final score: 1-15. The Dutch defender, who only played the first half, scored two trademark goals, with two strikes from outside the area, and showed from the very beginning his authority in his dialogue with his teammates.
The other Barça goals were scored by Laudrup (3), Geli (2), Eusebio, Almagro, Onesimo, Julio Salinas, Valverde, Begiristain, Soler and Milla. As an anecdote, the six thousand spectators that filled the Buitenpost gound applauded Koeman’s two goals as if he’d scored for the home team.
The great expectations as far as Koeman was concerned were fully confirmed with the passage of time. Koeman was a key player in defence for the Dream Team, that fabulous outfit from the first half of the nineties, had in him a key to the rear. Everyone remembers his great long passes, his powerful shots and his infallibility in free kicks and penalties. Koeman left the club in 1995, having scored 102 goals, not very usual stats for a defender