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06.02.2008 12:37

"Rijkaard is the best coach for Barça"


FC Barcelona president reiterated his support for Frank Rijkaard and Ronaldinho as he spoke on Spanish television and praised the team for their spirit as they compete for thre trophies this season.

The Camp Nou supremo was a guest on '59 Segons' on the Catalan part of La 2 television channel on Tuesday evening. Interviewed by six people from diverse backgrounds, Laporta spoke about numerous different areas of the club and his mandate from the past and for the future, with special mention given to sports management.

Complete confidence in Rijkaard

One of the most talked about themes was that of Frank Rijkaard's future. "We have complete confident in him," Laporta explained. "We believe that he is the right coach for Barça. He is an honest man and with the best personality for this club. His calmness and his prudence make him ideal. He will stay for as long as he wants."

1laporta59seg.jpgLaporta then denied that he had contemplated offering the job back to Johan Cruyff and was congratulated for his honesty. "I believe that the brave decision is to keep things as they are and to be coherent with our planning," he continued. "The players are motivated and if results are good, we will feel even more vindicated to have resisted any pressure."

Aiming for a treble

With Barça playing in three competitions, Laporta continued: "Our obligation is to try and win everything. We aspire to the league, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. We will go for the lot. It just highlights the good planning that we made for this season."

Ronaldinho's name was then mentioned and the president explained: "He is very happy at the club and in the city, and I believe that the duty of the club at a time when he has been out injured for a while, is to help and to support him for all he has done. He is one of the best players in the club's history and has inspired like Cruyff, Romário, Stoichkov, Guardiola, Messi. Also, he has a contract here."

Style council

As the club reduced the gap at the top of the table last weekend with a dramatic win against Osasuna, Laporta added: "It is not bad to suffer if things finish well. If you want to win things you have to work hard. We are too exacting. We are looking for excellence. We have a style of play where we control games, but it is difficult sometimes. There are other systems that maybe easier.

Losing the title

Laporta was then asked about any mistakes that he had made during his time at the helm. "The worst thing was the Copa del Rey game against Getafe and losing the title last season." Finally, he reflected on a subject that was making waves last summer when the club introduced a new internal code of conduct. "The code works," he said. "It is in place permanently."
Photos: TVE
Photos: TVE

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Forward planning
Joan Laporta also revealed that the club is planning for next season. "We have had meetings in December and January," he explained. "The signings that we made last summer were planned in January." One of the people in charge of this is sporting vice president, Marc Ingla, and Laporta believes that he is "a man of analysis and reflection. He wants to use all the strengths of the squad and has analysed deeply the dynamics of the players and has come up with his conclusions."

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