Barcelona president Joan Laporta gave an interview to Catalan newspaper Avui.
The external pressure has been high along the years, but after the vote of no confidence the big story has been the investigation of the vice-presidents (read more here). And both the investigations as the publication were caused by internal problems...
We already spoke about it and I don't plan to comment again on this issue. Everything has totally been clarified and I support everything that has been done from within the club. I know how it started and I don't want to stir things up again.
You have said things like "I had to play dead to survive" or "At a personal level, I haven't been rewarded for all this". Good god...
You have to understand the true meaning of the phrases, not the literal one. The point is that the groups that have attacked me were powerful groups, and that they wanted to harm, to destroy, all this with very bad intentions. It wasn't only about the club model but also about my person.
In the end, they have made me stronger. All this has made me mature a lot. I have always looked forward. I don't need a feeling of revenge to motivate me. I'm motivated by ideals, dreams, that's where I find reasons to go on. Not by those misfortunes.
You've had to defend Txiki Begiristain and the position of sports director. Depending on who wins the election, do you think that some aspect of the current sports model is at risk?
I defend a sports structure with a sports vice-president, a sports director and a first team coach who all have a lot of power. Especially the last two. The sports vice-president has to support and stay in touch with the sports director because it's his task to inform the board. It should stay that way, because it has functioned well for us.
You also have to find the right people, and that is not easy. The sports director needs to speak the same language as the coach and they should be on the same wavelength. This is very difficult but we succeeded. It is essential that those positions are well-defined within the structure. If not, you could end up in situations that are dangerous for the club.
Are you saying that you think that the separation between the board and the sports executives is in danger in these elections?
In fact, I do not know it, because I have not heard any proposal besides that of Alfons Godall, who wants to continue with the current model. You must execute it well, but objectively it is a good model. It would be a big mistake to change the model, which has led us to be the best club in the world and to have the best year in history.
Many try to convince people that all this happened by accident. But nothing in life happens by accident. Of course you need moments of luck and we had them, but there was a lot of work behind it all.
In general, when you work hard, the results will come. It's important to emphasize that. The model works because the right decisions were made, because there were people who believed in it and continued it, taking risks, with a lot courage.
In all areas, we've worked hard and we have dedicated the best years of our lives to Barça and to reach the best moment in the history of the club. This structure works and I think it should be shared by all candidates. I defend it with arguments, facts and results.
In the first internet polls, Sandro Rosell had a big advantage on the other candidates, but now Godall is coming closer. That reminds you of something?
Every electoral process has its own circumstances. In 2003 we were at a bad moment, there was a turmoil and chaos at the club. People voted a real change, ours, and we started a revolution that still continues. We had to be strong, not show weakness, and adapt the project along the way. They were moments of high intensity.
Now on the other hand, Barça has rewon the prestige it deserves, because of the sports results and because of how the club is managed. We need a person who represents a quiet force. And this person is Alfons Godall.
The remaining candidates must put forward alternative sports and economic models, explain what they want to do with the foundation and so on. But I only see silence, they're not saying anything. I think that every alternative model is an uncertain adventure.
this was the second and last part of this interview. you can read the first part here.
Laporta: "We need someone who's able to resist"
Poll result: Can Laporta openly support Godall?
Godall: "I have a great feeling of relief"
interview: xavi xirgo and jordi cortada