Laporta confirms run for Barcelona presidency, wants Guardiola return

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed he intends to run in the club’s presidential elections next year and he wants Pep Guardiola back as Coach.

Laporta – who was president of the Catalan giants between 2003 and 2010 – was speaking to Catalan station TV3, cited by Cadena Cope and said it was his ‘dream’ to return to the role and also spoke of his desire to be reunited with the current Manchester City boss.

“I would very much like Guardiola to come back, but now he is at City and it is a decision that Pep should take. He is a benchmark for Barcelona and many Catalans would like him to train Barça again.

“At the right time, I will speak to the person we think should be a Barça Coach from 2021.”

Guardiola was selected as Barcelona boss by Laporta in 2008 ahead of a hopeful Jose Mourinho, providing one of the most significant moments in modern European football.

Guardiola won two Champions League titles and three La Liga titles across four years as the club’s Coach, having previously been at the helm of the club’s B team.

Xavi Hernandez – the Barcelona captain during the Guardiola years – is now managing Al-Sadd in Qatar and Laporta admitted the former midfield maestro was another option for the Camp Nou hotseat.

“Xavi is already a Coach, he lives football and it is he who must decide what his moment is,” Laporta added. “In 2021 there will still be players who were Xavi’s teammates, and he must think if he is prepared to lead former teammates, which is not an easy thing.”

Current club president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s rein ends in 2021 and as things stand, the businessman Víctor Font is the only official pre-candidate in the running.

Laporta was replaced in 2010 by his electoral rival Sandro Rossell, who was himself replaced by Bartomeu in January 2014.

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