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Joan Laporta: “Barça will resuscitate and once again be a world reference”

Joan Laporta during his interview with SPORT / Rubén Moreno / SPORT

FC Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta spoke to Sport on Friday where he talked about the status of the club, possible signings, Sergi Roberto’s contract renewal and much more.

After what was possibly the worst board in the history of the club, Joan Laporta has taken upon himself to bring back the glory to the Camp Nou. So far, his presidency has basically been a process of cleaning up the house. In seven months as the head of Barcelona, he has managed to give somewhat of stability back to the Culés. However, his job is far from over and he still has a lot of plans in front of him.

This is what Joan Laporta had to say during the interview

On what his first months have been like

“I don’t have that much time to relax. I was expecting a very intense process, and it has been. On a day-to-day basis, we are working very hard because we have found ourselves in a difficult situation and we really want to do everything well.”

On wether he will be able to to put Barça back at the top of football

“I will do it. We are convinced that we can fix this situation. We are on the right track so that Barça can once again be where it belongs in the world of football, which is at the very top but this is can not be done from one day to another. Joy will return to Barcelona fans.”

Regarding the economic aspect of the club

“We already knew from the beginning that it would be very difficult. The enthusiasm, the desire and the conviction of our viability plan will make Barça come back as beacon in international football. We are overcoming obstacles and adversities. Right now we are looking to have a good balance all across the board.”

On the relevance of Sunday’s assembly

“We will announce results that are a disastrous. This is due to the poor management of the previous board. But we will also proclaim the resurrection of Barça. Barça will resuscitate and once again be a world reference.” 

Regarding possible winter and summer signings

“We are woking on improving the current squad every single day. I don’t know if it will happen during winter or in summer. We are keeping a close eye on certain movements in the transfer market. In order to do so, we are going to ask the Assembly to allow us to compete and invest in the club. But, we also have a model that is non-negotiable. We want to continue generating talent from La Masía and we will continue to invest in our young players. It is essential for the viability of the club and economic sustainability.”

On if there will be possible exits of the club

“If there are players coming in, there will also be a few leaving. We need to have a balanced squad  number wise. Now you have to continue working and close ranks for this season to be successful

Regarding if Barcelona can aspire to sign a player like Haaland or Mbappé

“Due to prestige, knowledge and experience, we are in a position to compete. There are a lot of agents that come to Barça to offer players. We are in a reconstruction phase. When they see news that Barça is given 600 million, they see that the club is alive and once again has the credibility we needed.”

On the contract situation of Dembélé

“Ousmane wants to stay. He is a player that interests us a lot. If he can play he will be essential for the team to improve. The manager thinks so. If he can keep healthy, he will be an important player for this season. He has a contract and has been with us for years. We are doing our best to renew him.”

Regarding Sergi Roberto’s situation

“Sergi’s deal is almost done, only  a few details remain. The captains have had an extraordinary gesture. They have reduced their salary. They have given up some variables for titles. It is important because it is a lot of money. They had no obligation to do so. It is very much appreciated.”

On if FC Barcelona is at risk of becoming privately owned

“For many years I have been a defender of the association model owned by its partners and with me as president, as long as I have the trust of the partners, Barça will be and will depend on its social mass and never on a political, media, economic group or any other Investment fund. This is very clear to me. If we made a decalogue of commandments, this would be the first … and also the last, “you will love Barça above all things”.”

Finally, Laporta also spoke about the Espai Barça project

“It will be the largest sports entertainment space in the world. It will be a world reference. It will have a positive impact on the club and city. We are talking about a 66% increase to what we normally have at the Camp Nou in normal conditions, without COVID. We are talking about a lot of money that would allow us to be able to compete at the highest level again.”

“Therefore, it is essential that the Assembly approves the financing plan of up to 1,500 million euros. What we cannot do is continue doing what the previous board did, who improvised everything and without real planning on how who they would pay for the investments they made.”