Barcelona president Joan Laporta, in an exclusive interview with ESPN, has addressed the potential return of Lionel Messi and the future of the much-maligned European Super League – which the club remains a part of.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has opened up the possibility of Lionel Messi’s return to the club – sometime in the future. The Argentine left the Blaugrana in acrimonious circumstances last summer due to their continuous economical problems; he turned up at Paris Saint-Germain, where, despite a slow first season, he would win the league title.
Laporta, however, feels that Messi’s Barcelona chapter is not yet over. The Spaniard believes it is the club’s responsibility to find a way to mend their relationship with the Argentine and provide him with a more satisfying ending.
“To Barca, he’s been possibly its greatest player, the most efficient,” he said. “To me, he’s only comparable to Johan Cruyff. But it had to happen one day. We had to make a decision as a consequence of what we inherited. The institution is in charge of players, coaches.
“I would hope that the Messi chapter isn’t over. I think it’s our responsibility to try to … find a moment to fix that chapter, which is still open and hasn’t closed, so it turns out like it should have, and that it has a more beautiful ending.”
Laporta also spoke on the future of the European Super League, which, despite heavy criticism upon its launch, lurks in the background. The Blaugrana, along with Real Madrid and Juventus, are still a part of it and are currently awaiting the resolution of a legal dispute to decide how to proceed with it.
The Barcelona president still deems the competition a necessity, especially for clubs like his own with European pedigree and not backed by State riches.
“The clubs have reached a point where we have to come up with rules that allow us to compete with state-owned clubs whose resources don’t come from football but through other industries, so they distort European football and make all this unsustainable. Clubs with the pedigree and history like Juve and Barca see a threat from these clubs that throw money at the problem and distort the market,” he said.