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11.09.2007 12:53

Laporta: “Unity is fundamental”

Vanessa Forns / Jordi Clos

The president of FC Barcelona has emphasised that unity is the key to achieving the team’s objectives this season. According to Joan Laporta: “We all have to put in the hopes, the work and the commitment that are needed”.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the National Day of Catalonia at the monument to Rafael de Casanovas in Barcelona, the president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, repeated his intention of trying to keep a lid on any exaggerated enthusiasm: “In this squad there’s a lot of hope, a lot of quality and there’ll be a lot of work. We can’t waste time on exaggerated praise. What we have to do is work”

Maximum unity

ofrena2007i.jpgLaporta referred back to the message he had sent the players after the match against Athletic Club Bilbao: “Everyone’s thinking about how to get the right tone as soon as possible in order to be able to have serious aspirations to everything we want to achieve this year”. With last season’s disappointments very much in mind, he stated: “We’ve thought it over and we have all decided to unite. Unity is fundamental. We’re all accepting our responsibilities and we all have to work together”. Mr Laporta also repeated his confidence in the coaching staff.

Support for the Catalan national side

One of the hottest talking points in recent days has been the prohibition of the proposed match between Catalonia and the USA. Joan Laporta expressed his regrets at the situation and revealed: “Holding this encounter will be pretty difficult but I believe we have to keep on trying to convince the Spanish FA to give their authorisation. I don’t understand why Spain systematically prevents Catalonia from taking part in official competitions. It’s an injustice. The friendly would have been played if it had been organised properly. If this had been put forward in good time and dealt with before, I think the Spanish FA would have had the sensitivity to authorise it”.

Players and their national teams

Joan Laporta also expressed his indignation at the fact that Thierry Henry is unavailable for tonight’s Catalonia Cup final despite being unable to play for France due to a match ban: “We’ll takes the necessary steps to see if it’s possible to bring him back”. Continuing with the subject of the international fixtures, he stated clearly: “It’s shameful that the clubs have to hand over the players to the national teams without any compensation. The national teams make money with our players and I think that measures have to be taken. This matter is being discussed in UEFA and in FIFA but I don’t see the willingness to solve it, when it could be done straight away. If it isn’t sorted out, we’ll have to consider, in some way or the other, not handing over players to the national teams”.

Laporta: “Unity is fundamental”
Dialogue with the captain
Team captain Carles Puyol was also present at the ceremony in representation of the football first team. Mr Laporta took the opportunity to enquire after the player’s recovery from injury and told us: “The other day it was great to see Puyol running again and I believe he’s in good spirits and convinced that he’ll be able to play again soon. I’m looking forward to it enormously”.

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