Barcelona Interviews

Laporta: “We have a very competitive team that’s already won the league”

Joan Laporta at the Camp Nou / David S. Bustamante / Soccrates / Getty Images

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta sat down with Sport, Mundo Deportivo and l’Esportiu for a three-way interview regarding the present of the team.

Since taking over the Catalan club during one of the worst periods in recent times, Joan Laporta has had to face multiple challenges. However, it seems as if the club is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Currently, Barcelona is slowly reducing the salary wage and at the same time putting together a young squad for the next 10 years.

Earlier this week, Laporta held an interview with three news outlets and discussed various key points of FC Barcelona.

Transfer market

Regarding the squad is currently building for next season:

“I am convinced that all the operations will be made. The feasibility plans has been approved. We have a very competitive team that’s already won the league. I’m focusing on building a team rather than signing individuals. We have already signed Gündogan and Iñigo Martínez and they’ll perform for us, as will the others still to come.”

“As the coach has said, we need a right back and two midfielders. I don’t think that should be too hard, there are several possibilities. We already have a perfectly decent squad, but we need someone in midfield to replace Sergio Busquets.”

The young Brazilian striker, Vitor Roque, has raised a lot of hype and expectations among the Barcelona fans now that the Cules have secured his signing for the upcoming years.

This is what Laporta said regarding the newest talent:

Vitor Roque has been signed. We have our feasibility plan and it’s planned for January or June, unless the circumstances improve. The contract is done and signed and he is a Barça player. He has ‘joga bonito’.”

“I expect goals from him. He very much has a style of his own. He can’t be compared to Ronaldo or Romario. He prowls the area and shoots with both feet from anywhere. I have watched a lot of videos, but have yet to see him in person.”

Early in the summer, Barça had planned to bring back club legend Lionel Messi. Nonetheless, the dream could not come true as the financial situation put the club in an impossible situation.

On the Leo Messi saga:

“We had the go-ahead from LaLiga and there was a place for Leo to come back. We spoke to the player and his father Jorge, and when it was announced that he was going to Inter Miami, they told me why, and I understand, accept and respect those reasons.”

Current squad

Regarding Xavi Hernández as the team manager:

“Xavi has a contract and we have an excellent relationship. When the time comes, we’ll talk about a new contract. Xavi is a noble, honest man and is the first person to thank for all these brilliant results. We think we need to reassess his contract because he came at a very difficult time and we’ll need to look at things again.”

On Ousmane Dembélé’s situation at the club:

“The manager is very fond of Dembélé, as is the technical secretary, and me too. His agents are a bit awkward when it comes to negotiations. We are currently working on getting him to stay and we hope things work out right. Fortunately, he wants to stay here. He loves it at Barça, but there are things to clear up.”

Ansu Fati and his future at Barcelona:

“Ansu Fati has a contract. Everything suggests this season will be better for him than the last one, which started with an injury and then there was a relapse. For club and country, everything is getting better for him. He wants to be a success at Barça, and his agent and everyone around him want more from him, but that all depends on the player.”

Regarding Barcelona’s participation in European competitions:

“The team will be competing in Europe next season, I have no worries there. The UEFA investigation concluded that we can’t be deemed guilty without a trial. We understand that to be the situation and that’s what we’ve been told by UEFA Appeals Committee, and everything says we’ll be playing in the Champions League, something that’s been difficult.”

Playing grounds

Currently, the Spotify Camp Nou is being remodeled and the home matches will therefore be played at the historic Olympic pitch of Mont Montjuïc. Laporta discussed updated of the stadium and more.

On the move to Montjuïc:

“It won’t be easy. It won’t be comfortable. But I think every fan understands that this is a stage we’ll have to get through if we are to have our dream stadium. We have to make sacrifices and I apologize for the inconvenience, but it doesn’t mean we can’t continue leading LaLiga and do much better in Europe.”

Regarding the work being done on the Spotify Camp Nou:

“I am seeing developments every day. I know I’m like one of those old retirees who stands watching builders but I find the whole thing very nostalgic, as well as imagining what the new ground is going to be like. I’m excited. I might make these visits part of my routine. I’ll make a point of inspecting the work every Wednesday. It’s such a nice feeling to see how things are progressing. I love it.”