Joan Laporta, the president of Barcelona, has stated that he is “not sorry” for allowing Lionel Messi to leave the club last summer.
After being unable to sign a contract extension due to the club’s financial woes, the superstar footballer was forced to pay an emotional farewell to his boyhood club, and he eventually joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
Despite calling his decision the “saddest of all,” Laporta today claims he does not regret it and that it sprang from his desire to put the club first. He also praised Xavi, anticipating that the manager will offer the Nou Camp “many joys.”
‘It was painful,’ he admitted in an interview with Barca TV, via Mundo ‘If I take stock, it is the saddest decision of all and I would never have wanted to make it, but I am not sorry either because I wanted to put the institution ahead of everything, even ahead of coaches and the best player in history.
And we had to do it. Because the situation we inherited is what it was. And due to a lot of will and intentionality we had, we came across a reality.
It might seem that there was nothing afterwards, but those of us who love Barça know that history continues and with work and well-thought-out decisions, we can continue on the path of success.’
The club president has also discussed his reasoning for appointing Xavi as Ronald Koeman’s replacement.
He’s even confessed that he’s sorry he didn’t let go of the former midfielder sooner. He went on to say, ‘I would have done it previously.’
‘It’s obvious to me.’ I should have followed my intuition, but intuitions are difficult to follow in real life.
‘You have to think about a lot of things.’ I’m sure no decision is perfect, but I didn’t make it flawless; instead, I made a different option based on different circumstances.
In the end, the decision was beneficial since we have progressed.’
‘I was sure that one day he would be the coach, and hopefully he would be the president with me,’ Laporta added, praising Xavi’s efforts at Barcelona.
‘Xavi is responding amply, magnificently well. He knows the club, he loves it, he respects decisions, he has personality so as not to be influenced, he is very clear about how we should play and he is a worker.
He is sick of football and that makes him live with what Barca is and everything that surrounds the team. I am very satisfied to have a coach like him, for many years.
I am convinced that he will give us many joys.’