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08.06.2009 18:25

Laporta talks about “memorable season”

Miriam Nadal

Joan Laporta was a keynote speaker at the prestigious Tribuna Barcelona lunch and discussion held for Catalan political and social organisations. The club chairman reviewed the treble season for attendees.

At the event organised by the newspaper El Periódico, Joan Laporta examined the successes of the treble season and pointed out the challenges facing the club in the future.

“It’s been a memorable season in which we’ve smashed records while staying loyal to our style of football,” he said. “It’s probably the best season ever in the club’s history, and I say probably out of respect for other great times in Barça’s past.”

Philosophy of football

WEB_LAPORTA_02.jpgFor Joan Laporta the keys to success have been hard work, motivation and continuity in a style of football and the way the club does things. “The people who have done this are the players and Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain who’s done a great planning job,” said Laporta. “We’ve won eight titles in six years and that has got people really enthusiastic about our philosophy of football.”

Laporta also took the opportunity to thank ex-manager Frank Rijkaard and previous team leaders such as Ronaldinho and Deco for what they have done for the current squad, though he admitted that at the end of last season “it was time for a change and a fresh approach”. He stressed Pep Guardiola’s ability to make all the players and members of the coaching staff feel part of the project.

Stability and management

Another of the key factors in Joan Laporta’s view in making such a memorable season has been the club’s institutional stability. He is pleased with the club’s management model and said that there was still room for further development. “This has helped with decision-making on the sports side,” he argued.

Reference point

WEB_LAPORTA_05.jpgThe club chairman thinks that the treble season has also helped to inspire the Catalan people. In his view this makes Barça into what it has always been: a reference point for the country. “Barça has been the hope of a country plunged into crisis, a burst of oxygen,” he argued. “It has mobilised 2 million people and as Barça is part of this country, the country needs to have reference points and Barça is one of them.”

Competing with Madrid

After summarising the keys to a memorable season, Laporta then took questions from attendees at the event. This included competing with Florentino Pérez’s model for Real Madrid. “Every year you start from nothing,” he said. “We have done things but you still need new drive and motivation. They are two different models and we have never boasted about having paid most for a player. We don’t have their pressing needs. They’re putting in place a project which deserves enormous respect, especially because of their director of football, Jorge Valdano. They’ve made a good choice of manager and it won’t be easy.”

Goal achieved

“The next chairman will find Barça in a better condition than we did, which was one of our goals,” he continued. “I would like it to be someone who understands and takes on board the club’s current model. As there will be a continuity candidate, I would hope it would be someone from the current board.”
Laporta talks about “memorable season”

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Best introduction
More than 200 people from the leading organisations in the country attended the Tribuna Barcelona lunch and discussion at the Hotel Avenida Palace. Joan Laporta was introduced by top Mexican writer and journalist Juan Villoro.

In his introduction the Vázquez Montalbán prize-winner praised Laporta as a “battling president”, one who has given the best years of his life to the club, faced down violent supporters and relaunched the club’s image worldwide with the UNICEF deal. Laporta expressed his thanks, saying that this was the best introduction he had ever had.

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