Joan Laporta stirred controversy on Sunday evening, appearing in a video that went viral on social media where he appeared to ask an underage girl to call him when she turns 18. Laporta is the favourite in the Barcelona presidential election that has taken place today, with results expected to come in tonight.
This is properly grim stuff from Joan Laporta, likely to be elected Barcelona president tonight. Asking an underage girl to call him when she turns 18. There's no context or environment in which this is not incredibly creepy and totally inappropriate. https://t.co/TnhpHGvvCa
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) March 7, 2021
Lionel Messi’s future has been a key feature of the debates leading up to the election, with each candidate professing their ambition to retain the Argentine star beyond the expiration of his current deal this coming summer. Of the three, Laporta is best placed to do so, it would seem. It was under his presidency, which ran from 2003 to 2010, that Messi broke into the Barcelona first team, and he’s traded heavily on his strong personal bond with him throughout the lead-up to the election.
El candidato Joan Laporta, socio número 13.352, ejerce su derecho a voto en el Camp Nou pic.twitter.com/TEEtmvQUng
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) March 7, 2021
Laporta was asked about Messi’s future while casting his vote this morning and revealed that he’ll waste no time in speaking with his father to resolve his future. “Why tomorrow? I can speak tonight, the night is long,” he said according to a report in Mundo Deportivo. On the pitch, things are looking up for Barcelona, and the election comes at a moment of optimism for a club that’s endured a tough 12 months. Last night’s defeat of Osasuna has closed the gap to league leaders Atletico Madrid to just two points, while youngsters like Ilaix Moriba, Pedri and Ansu Fati have shined under the tutelage of coach Ronald Koeman.