Asked if Barcelona director Xavier Sala i Martín (picture, centre) could be a candidate to succeed him next year, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has praised the Catalan university professor in economics during an interview with Spanish television channel TVE earlier this week, while he also didn't exclude the option of more than one board candidate:
"He's a man of great and acknowledged qualities. He's a big Barcelona fan. I like him a lot, but he'll hear the decision I will make later. I believe in him because he has been one of the key men by supervising the project and he's a real football fan. It's an honour to have people like him in the board. Whoever it will be, what I sure would like is that my successor would have his intellectual abilities.
I think our model has proven to be a valid one because things have gone very well, but the board doesn't have to agree on one continuity candidate. We will give people the freedom to do what they want. That's our style. Sitting around the table and look for a consensus is not our style. It should be a natural process. We must give people the freedom to decide if they want to run or not. When the elections are called, those who want can present a candidacy."
Sala i Martin: "I don't know what my role will be"
Laporta: "We'll talk about our candidate in January"