Barcelona boss Koeman set to play against his former student Abelardo at Camp Nou

Barcelona boss Koeman set to play against his former student Abelardo at Camp Nou

Former teammates Ronald Koeman and Aberlardo Fernandez are set to meet again at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening as Alaves travel to the Catalan capital. The pair played together at Barcelona during the 1994/95 season, with the dutchman teaching the young Asturian a thing or two in that time such as how to strike a ball from distance which Koeman was famous for.

That was Koeman's final season at the Camp Nou while Abelardo was just starting out his Barcelona career after moving from Sporting Gijon. The 31-year-old Koeman finally returned to his native Netherlands to see out the rest of his career at Feyenoord.

The pair played together 27 times that season and had a great relationship on the pitch with Koeman bestowing much of his knowledge about the game onto the young Abelardo.

Ahead of the match, Koeman spoke fondly of his ex-colleague.

"It's nice to face up against him because we played together," he said.

"He was also a central defender and was always a top professional and a great competitor and you can see that in his teams now".

Abelardo also spoke of his relationship with Koeman.

"Ronald and I worked together for a year, my first year, and I can only thank him for what he did for me," he said.

"He was really good with me. He would stay behind after training and teach me how to strike the ball from distance because I was quite weak.

"He's a great, humble person and is doing a great job at Barcelona. I'm still a Barcelona fan so I wish him all the best after Saturday and I hope they win many titles".

The Alaves coach has faced Barcelona seven times in his coaching career with a record of six defeats and one draw whilst in charge of Espanyol.

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