?Joan Laporta has revealed that he is planning to re-run for the Barcelona presidency, while also tipping Gerard Pique to take on the role in the future.
The Spaniard presided over the club between 2003 and 2010 – before being replaced by Sandro Rosell – in what was one of the club’s most successful periods in its history.
The current club president is Josep Maria Bartomeu who is up for re-election in 2021, and Laporta confirmed that he will put himself forward as a potential replacement.
“I see myself as a candidate to become Barcelona president again,” the 57-year-old told RAC1 (via ?Marca).
“I don’t see any candidates I like. There’s still a bit of time, although I will present myself [as a candidate] six months before, I’m sure. I follow goings-on at Barcelona and I’m preparing a plan of action. I’m preparing a proposal for the future of the club.”
As well as detailing his plans for the future, Laporta also tipped Pique as a future presidential candidate. The centre-back was recently involved in the restructuring of Tennis’ Davis Cup so already has some experience of sports administration.
“If I [become president], it wouldn’t be bad if Gerard Pique followed me as president because I see him as an ideal person,” Laporta explained.
“He knows the club, he’s a ?Barcelona fan, he’s a player, the best centre-back in the history of Barcelona, and he has character and the will to work. He’s shown that he’s ready.”
If Laporta does get elected, one of his most pressing concerns will be the future of Lionel Messi whose contract is currently set to expire at the end of the 2020/2021 season. Despite this, he remains confident that the Argentine will remain at the club for some time.
“I think we’ll have ?Messi for a while yet. He already knows [that he’s nearing retirement] and he knows how to save himself to give the best performances,” Laporta stated.
“He shows this by playing deeper, it’s what we all want. We always have to renew Leo’s contract from an economic point of view because from a human and sporting point of view, he feels at ease.”
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