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16.07.2008 21:51

“We are confident we’ll have Messi”

Vanessa Forns

Txiki Begiristain has confirmed that the club is still working on its intention of fielding Messi in the Champions League qualifying matches, and that therefore the player will not be going to the Olympic Games.

While speaking at Alexander Hleb’s presentation, the Barça director of football, Txiki Begiristain, explained that the club is hoping the Argentinian will be available to play in the Champions League qualifying match, even though the games clash with the Beijing Olympics. Begiristain said that he was calling on the “Champions League spirit”.

“We are still talking to the relevant authorities. We are convinced we are right, and what we want is for Messi to be able to play in the Champions League qualifiers. As we understand it, we have the right to field the player, and we hope FIFA will agree with us on that. The Olympic spirit is important, but so is the Champions League spirit” he commented.

Always the utmost respect

QM3D3576.jpgJoan Laporta also spoke on the subject, saying “we want to sort this problem out in an agreed fashion … the club will be acting with due respect to all of the institutions involved” and demanded that the club’s arguments be taken on board. “We are playing in the Champions League qualifiers this year” he reiterated.

The Eto’o case

Another subject for discussion was the latest concerning Samuel Eto’o. Begiristain said the club wanted to come to a mutually satisfying agreement with the player. “In an agreement that both parties are happy with, it is him who has to come first” he said, while also accepting that they were not counting out offers from other Liga clubs. In any case, Begiristain said that Eto’o’s departure would “condition the arrival of a centre forward … we wouldn’t want to end up with four centre forwards. That is not our idea” he said.

Also on the subject of the Cameroonian, Joan Laporta explained how important it was to “reconcile the interests of both club and player … Eto’o will be back on the 19th and we’ll sit down together and look at whatever options are required. We have an excellent personal and professional relationship with the player and his agents. We should be able to sort this out calmly.”
“We are confident we’ll have Messi”

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Squad shaping up
Txiki Begiristain guaranteed that “we are calmly working on possible departures” while at the same “completing the squad … we are doing things calmly, taking the financial and sporting situations into account, and always looking for the best option.” The director of football added that “the squad is shaping up well … we can guarantee we will be strong when the season starts.” Asked about future additions, Begiristain made it clear that “if we present a new player, it will be an attacking one”.

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