Joan Laporta: “Leo wants Barcelona. What I want is to return his happiness.”

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta, speaking with El Partidazo of Cope in comments carried by Marca, has revealed some of his intentions should he be elected president of the club for a second time.

Laporta wants to make Barcelona a force to be reckoned with in Europe once again, wants to value Lionel Messi in the manner in which he deserves and wants to return the club to the economic stability it has lost.

“The situation is similar to the one I encountered when I became president in 2003,” Laporta said. “There were significant losses and they told me to run away. Now, the situation is very delicate, but with a detailed plan we can reverse it.”

Laporta revealed the means with which he intends on fortifying Barcelona’s economic strength is by seeking additional investment rather than selling footballers.

“Barcelona is not a selling club, but a buying club,” he said. “One of the lines of business is the sale of players and historically we have not been able to do so. We must look for world-class partners in all sectors to find sources of income. We must study it carefully. There are still many areas to be exploited.”

Of key importance to any incoming president is managing the club’s relationship with Messi. The Argentine made clear his desire to leave the club last summer and his contract expires at the end of June.

“Leo wants to have a dressing room that brings him back joy,” he said. “A team like Barcelona needs team spirit in the dressing room. I have been president of Barcelona and I don’t want to destabilise a team in a delicate situation.

“Leo wants Barcelona. What I want is to return his happiness. It’s not only a question of money. You also have to create a competitive team. Leo has been deceived and that diminishes [his happiness] a lot. He’s a winner and he cannot bear to see others lift the Champions League.

“The last time I spoke with him was in October. I’m very grateful to him for everything he’s done for Barcelona. I’ve known him since he was 16 years old and he is an extraordinary person. There is a mutual appreciation and respect. We must be inside the club to make him an imaginative and credible proposal.”

Laporta previously served as club president between 2003 and 2010, overseeing the construction of one of the greatest club teams in football history alongside Pep Guardiola.

Laporta and his team have positioned themselves as a group of Barcelonistes who understand the feeling of the club better than most, and that they will endeavour to return the club to its fundamental value of prioritising social and human values as well as economic and sporting ambitions.

They also intend on placing renewed emphasis on La Masia and Barcelona’s responsibility of projecting Catalonia to the world, as well as increasing economic responsibility and sporting ambition according to his campaign website.

Featured image courtesy of Bleacher Report.

Tags Barcelona Joan Laporta Lionel Messi