Barcelona president Joan Laporta has had some interesting things to say in a recent interview, particularly about Lionel Messi and Ronald Koeman.
In an interview with RAC 1, as quoted by Spanish publication SPORT, Joan Laporta has had his say on some important matters while also once again speaking about Lionel Messi. Interestingly, the Barcelona president has said that he was hoping that Messi would say he would play for free.
The first year of Joan Laporta’s presidency reign at Barcelona has hardly gone swimmingly. The Barcelona president was unable to keep hold of the greatest player the club has seen, Lionel Messi, who ended up joining Paris Saint-Germain in a shock move in the summer transfer window.
The first-team is producing the worst performances that have been seen by a Barcelona side in years. And the financial situation has hardly improved, with Laporta even once claiming that the club was on the verge of bankruptcy. And now, there have been some interesting comments made by the Barcelona president on Messi, Ronald Koeman as well as some promising youngsters.
On Messi, Laporta said, “We had no margin with the ‘fair play’ and we could not register him. We came to consider the effort to accept the agreement with CVC so that Messi would stay, but it was unfeasible for Barcelona. The club is above any player. I didn’t get mad at him at any time. I appreciate him too much.”
“When we saw that the situation did not allow for renewal, there was some disappointment on both sides. He had a huge desire to stay, but also a lot of pressure from the great offer from PSG. But I was hoping he would say he was willing to play for free.” Meanwhile, Laporta has had a few run-ins with Koeman lately and he had some things to say about the Barcelona manager as well.
“He deserves confidence. Firstly, because he is a Cule who loves Barcelona. Talking with him, you notice it. Secondly, it is important to note that he is a myth of Barcelona. In addition, he came in a situation of sports and institutional crisis.”
Finally, Laporta commented on the contract situations of Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi, who has been recently linked with Liverpool and Manchester United. The Barcelona president said, “We are in the process of renewing the young people. If it can be, next week you will have good news. The youth contracts were ending soon.”
“We have very advanced Pedri’s continuity and hopefully we can announce it next week. Ansu too it’s going well. We’re also very happy with Gavi. The president of the Spanish Federation called me yesterday to congratulate me. Sergi Roberto, on the other hand, has already lowered his salary. We are restructuring his contract, there are only some fringes to close.”
Situations are clearly murky at Barcelona, and Laporta might not have the easiest job on the land. However, after giving Koeman some confidence, he would hope that the results on the pitch improve after enduring a torrid week ahead of the international break.