Ronald Koeman will need time to rebuild if Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez leave Barcelona, says Rivaldo.
Former Netherlands boss Koeman was handed a two-year contract at Barca last week after being drafted in to replace Quique Setien in the Camp Nou hot seat.
The Spanish champions turned to a club legend to steady the ship in the wake of a humiliating 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
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The 2019-20 campaign marked Barca’s first trophyless season in 12 years, and an inquest into the failings of both the first-team squad and the board has already begun.
A number of household names are expected to move onto pastures new this summer, including Messi, who has made clear his intention to leave the club with a view to activating a special clause in his current contract.
Suarez also appears destined to head for the exits at Camp Nou, with Barca reportedly ready to terminate the Uruguayan’s existing deal a year before its expiry date.
Koeman may well be taking charge of a significantly weakened squad next season, and Rivaldo has called for patience as the Dutchman attempts to usher in a new era.
“Ronald Koeman was hired to renew Barca’s squad and get the team back on track quickly,” the former Barca star told Betfair.
“His status as an iconic Barca player, who scored the winning goal when the club won their first Champions League, could give him extra margin for error, especially after the probable exits of Messi and Luis Suarez.
“If both those players leave, Koeman will rebuild from almost nothing so I hope he gets time because it could take a while to get Barca back to their full power.”
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Rivaldo believes Koeman is the right man to lift the cloud of gloom surrounding Camp Nou, having witnessed the 57-year-old’s coaching abilities up close at the height of his Barca career.
The Brazilian added: “He arrives as an experienced manager so, besides his status at the club as a player, he will be respected for the work he did in the Premier League and with the Dutch national team.
“When I was playing for Barcelona, and Koeman was Louis van Gaal’s assistant, I never had any problem with him. He used to talk with the players and we could tell he would become a manager one day.”
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