FC Barcelona

Louis van Gaal claims Ronald Koeman is criticised because he is a 'foreigner'

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Van Gaal is currently in charge of the Netherlands
Van Gaal is currently in charge of the Netherlands / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has claimed that compatriots Frenkie de Jong and Ronald Koeman are receiving criticism from Barcelona fans because they are "foreigners".

Koeman, who is currently in charge at Barça, is under fire following his side's underwhelming start to the season.

They have won just three of their opening seven La Liga games and have also fallen to back-to-back 3-0 defeats in the Champions League to Bayern Munich and Benfica respectively.

Some sections of the fanbase have also stuck the boot into De Jong for what they perceive to be a poor run of form.

Speaking to the press before the Netherlands' World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar on Monday, Van Gaal claimed he knew why the pair were being questioned.

"When everything is going well and you make great contributions, as Frenkie de Jong has done in the last two years, then there is nothing to worry about. But when things go wrong, Barcelona people always look to foreigners. And in this case, the coach applies," he said.

Van Gaal's has a strained relationship with Barça, which stems from his two spells as manager in the late 1990s and early 2000s. During both of these reigns, controversy was never far away with the Iron Tulip clashing with the Catalan press throughout his time in the hot seat.

Van Gaal went on to claim that 'history was repeating itself' at Barcelona, as well as advising Koeman to "not pay much attention" to his detractors.

Later on in his press conference he began to discuss the performance of De Jong for the national team, before checking himself. He then claimed that when he discusses his players' performances his words "take on a life of their own in the media".