Andoni Zubizarreta has revealed why Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol’s contracts were announced together, and also some details of their talks.
“On the one hand we had the three coinciding in time,” explained sporting director Zubizarreta to El Periodico, when asked why they were not announced separately.
“The negotiations were overlapping with others and yes, you have to decide how and when you announce it, as for the players who are being referenced.
“To make the joint announcement followed the idea of having a club team, defending an idea. And following that, we thought it would be nice to announce the three at the same time, because it symbolises what the club is.”
The former goalkeeper was then asked how the negotiations with the three players went and what the most important elements were to their successful conclusion.
“For Leo, the package to negotiate is very large, many things enter into consideration, there are many variants. But in the end, what matters is football…
“The important thing is not just what has been asked for and what has been offered for him to stay with us, but what he has experienced and felt. He perceives that his time with Barca is not yet over.
“We never worked with the idea of not renewing [Puyol and Xavi]. There were many meetings. These negotiations have not been easy, nor have they been difficult. Everything has to fit, but starting from the desire of the three players to stay.”
El Periodico also report today that the three players will put pen to paper on their agreed contracts in January.