Joan Laporta on Lionel Messi: “I know that he wants to stay”

Joan Laporta, the favourite to succeed in Barcelona‘s forthcoming presidential election, has been speaking about the future of Lionel Messi in comments carried by Diario Sport.

Barcelona news has been dominated by Messi this season, with the Argentine talisman trying to leave the club in the summer after becoming dissatisfied with the sporting direction the Blaugrana have taken.

Lionel Messi

The Catalans won no trophies last season and are beginning to suffer from years of poor recruitment, sitting third in La Liga at the moment, some distance off leaders Atletico Madrid.

His unhappiness was compounded by the discarding of Luis Suarez, his great friend, three years on from the departure of Neymar. This meant that the two great Barcelona teams Messi played in were no more – the Pep Guardiola era’s stalwarts had mostly retired, while Luis Enrique‘s team also disbanded.

There has been green shoots, however, and Barcelona fans hope that if Laporta is elected he could be key in helping Messi decide to stay at Camp Nou. Laporta was previously in charge of the club between 2003 and 2010, and was instrumental in building the team that won Champions League titles in 2006, 2009 and 2011.

Lionel Messi

“Messi is now totally focused on us catching Atletico in the league and on the Paris Saint-Germain tie in the Champions League,” Laporta said. “I don’t know if he’ll be playing on Sunday [when Barcelona play Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de Espana final], but he’ll on the bench and it’s important that Leo encourages his teammates.

“I see him as being more and more happy, he’s enjoying himself. Against Real [Sociedad] it was a great football match. I know that he wants to stay and I know that he will do everything in his power to stay as long as the club can offer him something that suits him.”

Tags Barcelona Joan Laporta La Liga Lionel Messi