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Laporta: “We are going to Paris to compete, with our heads held high”

Laporta celebrating with his team after the results were announced / FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA

After being elected as the new president of FC Barcelona yesterday, Joan Laporta gave interviews to ‘Catalunya Ràdio’ and ‘RAC1’ on Monday, expressing his happiness on leading the club again.

On if he expected such a big victory

“I expected a victory like this because of the news we were getting during the campaign.”

On the first thing he will do

“Obviously I will do an audit, but first I will go to greet the employees of the club to thank them for all the work they have done during all these months with an interim president, which is not what the club needed when making decisions. Not because they did it wrong, but they had no powers of disposition and then the club was in a situation of certain misrule. Now that there is a president and a board of directors, we will be able to make the decisions that are necessary, such as conducting an audit to know the exact financial situation of the club and to be able to apply our shock plan, which is essential for Barça to be economically sustainable.”

On the image of Messi voting

“I really liked it and I made reference to it when I thanked all the members for their participation. It was very nice to see Leo with his son going to vote. It is one more proof that he loves Barça, as we have been saying during the campaign. I am convinced that he wants to stay. We have not spoken personally. Messi congratulated me, obviously, we are friends and it is normal. We have not yet talked about the conversation we have to have. First, we’ll learn about the economic situation at the club and then we can make a proposal that, as a whole, should be an economic and sporting proposal . We will speak calmly when the time comes, but for me it is a priority and I think he is also looking forward to it.”

On the arrival of Jordi Cruyff

“I cannot confirm anything, because I have no commitment to anyone. When we see how the economic and organizational situation of the club is, we will make the decisions. First, out of respect for the people who are working at the club, I have to talk to them.”

“I have all the assets at Barcelona. Both Xavi and Jordi Cruyff have made themselves available and at the time we deem appropriate we will speak. Jordi has an active contract in China. We have a good relationship with Xavi, but I have received so many messages that I have not been able to answer him.”

On if he talked to Xavi

“I have so many messages… I suppose Xavi congratulated me. We have been talking the last few months. It’s the same case as Jordi, first I have to talk to those who are in the club.”

On whether the candidates will object

“They are free to do what they want. Barça is a great family and we are united by the feeling of belonging to this great club. They know that with me, they will always have a president whom they can tell what they think.”

On whether Font will be on the board

“No one is expected to join the board, other than those who have been in my candidacy. The unit does not pass through here. You have to have strong leadership and a very defined and clear model. Anyone who wants to help and row in the same direction would be the best for Barça.”

On the match against PSG

“It would be the desirable thing, what all the culés want, but if it goes the other way, it is also a good way to begin the mandate. The moment that presents itself now is extremely difficult, but we have to go to Paris to compete and defend the dignity of Barça.”

“I have hope. I am always optimistic and I really liked Jordi Alba’s statements in which he said that Barça must go to compete in Paris. We are going to compete with our heads held high and we must not rule out anything.”

About the possibilities in LaLiga

“I was convinced that Atlético would drop points and there is a league to fight for. You have to fight till the end because at Barça there are no transitional seasons.”

On the electoral celebration

“It’s what they played. We had been in the campaign for three months and the celebrations were good. Yesterday it was a party of the barcelonismo. We knew how to win, because in the victory we also involved the other candidates. We celebrated it because we were happy.”

On when he will be definitive president

“When the manager calls me to take office. I have been invited to Paris, which I am grateful for. Now I’ll go to take the antigen test. I guess I’ll take over next week or at the end of the week.”

On the talk with the players before going to Paris

“If I can do it, I will. We will fly to Paris and I really want to see them and say hello. We have been talking with Jordi Alba and Gerard these months. I’m eager to comment on the news and plan for everyone’s future. Leo, Gerard, Jordi Alba have congratulated me… I like him a lot because he is part of the great family that we have been building.”

On the image of union with the candidates

“I told them that they had been great candidates and that now we all have to row together and that if they have any advice I will listen to them. They are not rivals, they are Barça fans who will surely help as much as they can.”

On Ferran Reverter

“It is very good news. He is one of the people that we will incorporate at the highest level of Barça. I see that it has come out because MediaMarkt is listed on the stock exchange and the news must have come out in the economic media. Ferran Reverter announced that he was leaving MediaMarkt after many years at the position of CEO and would come to Barça if we won. We will talk about it with Óscar (Grau) and Ferran Reverter will have the responsibility to reorganize and transform the organization as a result of the new model that we will apply to the club. This will be done calmly and gradually.”

On Mateu Alemany

“We plan for him to act as an executive in the football department, to be the person who has relationships and represents, at an executive level, all the interests of Barça in LaLiga, the RFEF and in the international arena. I will have to roll up my sleeves and work to the best of my ability. At Barça we have always had an executive who prepares the ground for when the president will represent the club. He will also support the technical secretariat because Mateu is a senior soccer executive and I would like him to be linked. I value his knowledge a lot, he is a person who is very up to date with how football is today and we will have a conversation shortly to incorporate it.”

On a possible return of Pep Guardiola

“I have a very direct and good relationship with Pep, what I will not do is disturb him at work. We have a personal relationship that allows us to talk about football and Barça. He is focused on City.”

On when the public will be at the Camp Nou

“I will speak with LaLiga. They will have a lot to see but we expect the public to return towards the fall, near the end of the year. Our hope is that it can be done as soon as possible.”

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