Rosell: “Barça’s world title was paradise”
In an interview with FIFA.com Sandro Rosell said that having been world champions over the last year has been “like paradise”. Barça’s chairman added that he’s anxious to win the trophy again.
Barcelona’s reign as world champions will come to an end this Saturday when their title will
be taken by Mazembe Englebert or Milan. To mark the occasion Barça chairman Sandro Rosell spoke to
about what it’s like to be world champion and also about having three Barça players on
the shortlist for the FIFA Ballon D'Or Award 2010.
It is almost a year since Barça won the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi and Sandro
Rosell says that “winning it was extremely important for us as it was the first time that FC
Barcelona had won this title.” He went on to add that “when this happens, it's like
paradise! I don't want to say it was more important than the Champions League title or Spanish
title, but we were very happy to be world champions.”
Raising the club’s profile
Rosell believes that winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi may have created
new opportunities for the club in the Middle East: “Here in the Middle East, every day we
have more and more fans, and we can feel this when we travel. Last week we signed a new contract in
this region. I don't know how much last year's success here in Abu Dhabi was a factor, but it
definitely helped to raise our profile.”
Being in the next final
Obviously Barça wants to get back to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup next
year, when it returns to Japan where the final was traditionally held. Barcelona’s chairman
said that “for us it is very interesting to play wherever the competitions are hosted.
Naturally we enjoy playing at Camp Nou, in front of our supporters, but we want to continue to grow
the popularity of our club, and be the club that children around the world admire and look up
to.” He went on to say that “I am sure if we were to reach the 2011 FIFA Club World
Cup, we would again have a lot of neutral supporters in Japan too.”
Three on Ballon D'Or shortlist
Sandro Rosell also spoke about Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández, on the shortlist for
the FIFA Ballon D'Or Award: “This is as important as winning a big trophy like the FIFA Club
World Cup. We are very proud to have all three players from our club shortlisted, and what is more
important is that they are ‘home-grown’.“ The Barça chairman added that
“this gives us the confirmation that the work we started 30 years ago is going in the right
way, and we will continue to develop our own players.” Rosell also mentioned Pep Guardiola,
nominated for FIFA World Coach of the Year 2010.