The Brazilian traveled to Camp Nou in the summer of 2020 but was limited to one appearance in his debut campaign
Matheus Fernandes accused Ronald Koeman of having a “personal problem” with him, with the Dutch coach telling the Brazilian he “did not have the quality to play for Barcelona”.
The beloved 22-year-old midfielder was snapped up by the Blaugrana in January 2020 and cleared to take a loan from Real Valladolid before heading to Camp Nou.
Koeman had inherited the reins ahead of the opening of a first campaign in Catalonia, and Fernandes found himself limited to just 17 minutes of playing time off the bench in a Champions League group stage clash with the Dynamo Kiev.
What was said?
Ask by Mundo Deportivo As to why he was frozen, a bemused Fernandes said: “I think Koeman has a personal problem against me.
“A month after my debut against Dynamo and not having played afterwards, I went to Koeman’s office and asked ‘Did I play badly? He replied, “No, you played well, but I can’t give you a chance. don’t count on you. You do not have the quality to play for Barça ‘. “
The South American added: “In training I was always on defense or on the wings – out of my natural position.
“And there were days when I didn’t even train. I just warmed up but wasn’t involved with the whole group.”
Fernandes had a first hint that life at Barca may not turn out the way he had hoped when his official reveal was called off in the middle of the fury sparked by Lionel Messi’s attempt to leave the club.
Josep Maria Bartomeu was then forced to leave his presidential office, leaving a newcomer 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 introduce me was the day Leo’s burofax arrived. At the time, there was no president.
“It’s not a good thing, but it can happen. However, I hope it doesn’t happen again.
“It’s a bit strange and there are some things I don’t understand. I know the same as you – nothing – because they [the board] never spoke 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 for minutes, I will.”