Joan Laporta: ‘I want to return the joy to Barcelona’

Joan Laporta during a press conference of his candidacy, ‘Estimem al Barça’. / ALBERT GEA/REUTERS

The former president and now pre-candidate for the presidency of Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, granted an interview via YouTube to the new media that are asking for a step up in the world of sports journalism. The interview was led by Víctor Palacios, Miguel Ángel Ruíz from El 10 del Barça, Adrián Sánchez and Aina Canales from Más Que Pelotas and Blaugranagram.

During the interview, with a more laid-back format, Laporta answered questions related to the club’s economy, the proposal for his candidacy, the future of Lionel Messi, the women’s section, La Masía, among other topics. Joan Laporta was president of Barcelona from 2003 to 2010 and presided over arguably one of the best time periods in the history of the Catalan club.

“I think I have the experience, the preparation and the determination necessary to make the changes that the club needs and I believe precisely that the preparation and the experience will help me a lot. Because I did it in 2003 and we are in a similar situation in 2020.”

“I feel strongly that with a very powerful team [backing me] we once again can make Barça a world reference point in the sporting, economic and social field. I want to bring joy back to Barcelona.”

“Every time there is a situation of maximum difficulty the club in a certain way directs me to give everything I have and I know how to do it, I want to do it and above all, I know the attitude we have to have.”

“For my part, it will be a campaign of absolute respect for the opponents and I will do it as I have always done, convinced of our possibilities, concentrating on our program to be able to explain it to the maximum number of official club members and fans seeking empathy.”

“[I want to] give justified hope and credibility of what Barça will be like again.”

“The economic aspect is very important, that there is a proposal that reassures the club members in the sense that we are going to protect them so that Barça does not become a public limited company.”

“We already had a series of symptoms that it was not going well in the economic field and in the sports field I think that the necessary renewals had not been made so that these years of splendor will last much longer.”

“The margin we will give [Ronald] Koeman is set by the results and the game and depending on how this goes, the decisions will be made.”

“For me, the merit of the vote of no-confidence is that it got the outgoing board to say, ‘well I can’t take this situation anymore’. The serious thing is that they thought they would hold out.”

“In 2003 I represented a real change and here I feel in the same position. Many changes have to be made, the entity needs strong leadership to face this situation and to make the changes that the club needs, and in this sense, the situation is very similar to that of 2003.”

“In its day I incorporated women’s football into the club. We also have to promote women’s grassroots football, we are going to apply a new methodology to La Masía and that it has to create a centre of sports excellence so that it is a guarantee of sports viability, identity of the game and economic viability.”

“We would like women’s football to have a game identity — that genuine system of playing football that Barça has.”

“The genuine system of playing football that Barça has is: controlling the game, having control of the ball, playing one or two touches, attacking, trying to show, when we lose the ball try to recover it immediately to control the ball again. “

“The economic situation that nobody suffers can be reversed, it is a matter of time, we will try to do it with the shortest time possible. Once this situation is reversed we can begin to think about new investments in sports and also in women. “

“This success story of Barça with the Champions League does not only apply to the men’s first team but also the women’s.”

“All the candidates are excited but I am motivated by the desire, which is different, to return to Barcelona with self-esteem, joy and challenge because I have already done it in the past and I am convinced that I can do it again and best.”

“I have spoken to many powerful player agents, and they are excited for me to come. I have spoken to everyone, and they are all volunteering.”

“Xavi is married to Barça, he wants to coach Barça, one day he will train him because he also knows, the desire, he knows the club a lot. I think it will depend a lot on the circumstances, give him the alternative in a moment determined.”

“I don’t like VAR, because it takes authenticity out of the game. I don’t like this of celebrating goals in an interrupted way, I don’t get used to it, this of being held for a few seconds or minutes to see what they decide, I think it brings spontaneity out of football. . “

“Those of Madrid cannot complain about anything, if they gave the last League to I do not know how many plays in favour. The League of confinement on the VAR issue was a scandal because it always happened that by a millimetre they were right. “

“We have to promote the Estadi Johan Cruyff, identify the female with this stadium. She was speaking these days with some supporters groups that the effort they make is commendable to bring people to Johan Cruyff. What we need is for the players to feel supported by the public, this is essential. We are looking to reach agreements with the means of transport that can take people who are looking forward to seeing women play. “

“I’m going to do everything possible so that Messi stays. With Leo we respect each other and have great esteem, it is mutual. We have known each other for many years, he is a grateful man, who has matured and loves Barça above all else. . “

“For Messi, you have to put together a team so that he sees that Messidependencia is more distributed and he can find himself more comfortably.”

“Leo has always said one thing that has filled me with pride: ‘You have fulfilled everything you have told me’ therefore I have credibility with Leo, and what has happened is that these last years have deceived him a lot. “

“The canvas is more than a canvas, it is to mark the profile of a candidacy. We have the courage, the courage, the decision to launch a message that was addressed to the members and fans of Barça so that they can feel self-esteem again.”

“I want nights to come back like the 2-6 at the Bernabéu.”

“I have a plan in case Messi leaves, Barça continues, we have to continue insisting on that genuine model of playing football, promoting it to the maximum, at Barça, there are no transition years, therefore ambition is at full throttle.”

“Leo [Messi] will wait for us so that we can propose, I am convinced.”

“I have been president, and if I say that I love this player and say a name, what happens is that it is already twice as expensive and also the player who occupies his position is reducing his value.”

“The players have enjoyed the canvas a lot, as much as all the Catalans, I can assure you. Any comment we make outside, they are very clever, very intuitive and if they do not listen to them, their environment will tell them.”

“At La Masía now we have to give it one more turn and make it more professional, apply technology to the entire training methodology. Institutions and projects are made by people and that is why we have the right people in these positions, we have them and above all that, the philosophy is the same as always ”.

“For the boy or girl who comes to this factory of dreams that is Barça, what we have to do is train them as people to be great footballers. They have talent, what you have to go is nurturing that talent, accompanying that talent. Nowadays everything is very professionalized and they come to you at a very young age with their agents, there we have to make them understand that first they have to train well as people. “

“A personalized treatment for each one of their professional careers, knowing from the moment they enter Barça what we want from them.”

“We have great references from La Masía, everyone has had a lot of influence and the players have to see a reference in them. When a player makes his debut in the first team it is an extraordinary message to the youth teams and we have to give many messages of these because they also make us a unique club. “

“For me, one of the main pillars of our proposal is La Masía, it has always been a reference and we are going to push it to the maximum and, I think it is the way we can compete.”

“Every player grown at La Masía deserves affection, special treatment. Riqui Puig is talent, I like that he plays smiling and is very cheeky. Just as I love Pedri and I like Ansu a lot, let’s see if he recovers soon. We are starting to have a Masía again with young people with great talent and they have an extraordinary future to come.”