Exclusive Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Emili Rousaud

Emili Rousaud with the Blaugranagram logo / BLAUGRANAGRAM
Emili Rousaud with the Blaugranagram logo / BLAUGRANAGRAM

Blaugranagram have conducted an interview with ex-vice president of FC Barcelona, Emili Rousaud, in which the latter spoke about the recent elections, and, among other things, touched on Lionel Messi’s future.

The recent presidential elections for FC Barcelona had four main runners for quite some time: Toni Freixa, Joan Laporta, Víctor Font, and Emili Rousaud. Towards the end, Emili Rousaud withdrew from the elections, leaving the former three in the running, with Joan Laporta ending up as club president once more.

Blaugranagram have since interviewed Emili Rousaud, who also is a former vice-president of FC Barcelona – and many topics were covered.

The motion of no confidence was launched during the BarcaGate debacle, and also saw six board members jointly resign, including Rousaud. However, the club’s former vice president tells Blaugranagram that the moció had no influence on his decision: he wanted to run for president.

“The moció did not influence my decision to run for president, me having been vice-president as well as the financial and sporting situation of the club were what drove me towards presenting my candidacy. Our program offered solutions to put Barcelona [and its status] back where it deserves to be: the best club in the world,” Rousaud tells Blaugranagram.

For the first time ever, the presidential elections allowed mail-in votes, partly due to the worldwide pandemic. In Barcelona’s recent celebration of the Copa del Rey trophy, the players wore shirts with the motto ‘the first [trophy] of a new era’. Rousaud believes the elections are part of that new era in the Catalan city.

“I think the elections mark the start of a new and exciting era in which Barça will recover their lost image [or reputation],” he continues.

With that new era in its initial phases, Lionel Messi’s future remains in the air. His contract runs out this coming summer, and for Barcelona that means a renewal has to be put on the table if they want to avoid losing one of the world’s best for free. Since the appointment of Joan Laporta, the club’s newly-elected president has publicly voiced his desire to convince Messi to stay, and given the Argentine’s recent form, it seems plausible to assume that the 33-year-old magician would prefer staying.

As for Emili Rousaud, he identifies three key reasons he believes would convince Messi to stay in Catalonia:

“I believe that Leo [Messi] will continue as a Barcelona player for three reasons:

a) A motivating sporting project [is introduced], where we [Barcelona] get back to winning ways, through a mix of young talented players and a few top drawer signings, as well as Messi having a good relationship with Ronald Koeman.

b) Leo [Messi] is happy, not only at the club, but also in the city of Barcelona, where he feels comfortable and loved.

c) He is the best player in Barca’s history, a legend. His future will be agreed on – and will be easier to agree on because of his good relationship with [Joan] Laporta.

With the transfer market looming around the corner, aside from Messi’s potential departure, arrivals also could be on the cards. Rousaud points out two things that he believes are necessary – something the majority of Barcelona fans would agree with:

“I think the team needs a central defender, and a goal-scoring number 9 [striker]. The return of [La Masía product] Eric García and the arrival of [Erling Braut] Haaland would improve the team drastically,” Rousaud continued.

With the Catalan club having only seven games left of the league season, a Copa del Rey trophy in the cabinet for this season, Rousaud is optimistic about their chances for a double.

“The team needs confidence and wins to boost morale. The team has great potential, which was shown in the game against Paris Saint-Germain in Paris, as well as against Sevilla in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey,” he explained.

“I think the team can win the domestic double – and they are, without a doubt, the best team in LaLiga Santander,” Rousaud concluded.