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Memphis Depay takes dig at Barcelona

Memphis Depay has made several accusations about former club Barcelona after reuniting with manager Ronald Koeman in the Netherlands national squad.

Koeman was instrumental to the 29-year-old’s move to Spotify Camp Nou in 2021, convincing the Blaugrana to sign his compatriot upon the expiration of his contract at Lyon.

However, the pair got to work together for only a few months before the Catalan powerhouse showed the 60-year-old manager the door after an abysmal start to the 2021/22 season.

Depay, who shares a strong relationship with Koeman after their time together at the Dutch national team, stepped up to publicly back his head coach over mistreatment at Barcelona.

“The way Ronald Koeman was treated at Barcelona is not right,” he told Algemeen Dagblad (via Marca). “Koeman is a classy coach and a fantastic person. He certainly didn’t deserve it.”

Koeman replaced Louis van Gaal at the helm of the Netherlands earlier this year, but his second spell in charge of the Oranje was off to a dismal start.

Inspired by Kylian Mbappe’s brace, 2022 World Cup runners-up France dismantled the Dutch 4-0 in their opening European Championship qualifier, with Depay spurning a stoppage-time penalty.

The PSV Eindhoven youth academy graduate left Barcelona in January to link up with bitter La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid after hitting the bottom of the pecking order under Xavi Hernandez.

And while his playing time at Camp Nou was at a premium down the final stretch of his career in Catalunya, he has gradually become one of the protagonists for Diego Simeone’s side.

Leaving Barcelona wasn’t easy, but Depay is excited about his new adventure at the Metropolitano Stadium, as revealed by the Dutchman himself.

“Of course, it was a disappointment (to leave), but disappointment is part of this,” he added. “In football, you keep going.

“Sometimes things move very fast. I feel fitter at Atletico Madrid. I also play more and more.”

Before returning to Madrid, Depay will try to help the Netherlands overcome the embarrassment of a day-one battering in Paris when they encounter continental minnows Gibraltar on Monday.

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