Barcelona president Joan Laporta: “As a Barça fan it’s not good news to see Mbappé to Real Madrid”

Barcelona president Joan Laporta addressed the media regarding the club’s disappointing season, the managerial change and the arrival of Kylian Mbappé at arch rivals Real Madrid. The president was also quizzed on why new manager Hansi Flick still hasn’t had the chance to be greeted by the media.

It has been confirmed that previous manager Xavi Hernández will not have a farewell press conference. Xavi already said goodbye to supporters in the run-up to the last league match.

Laporta made the decision to sack Xavi even though the manager agreed to stay for another season. In February it looked like the Spaniard would be leaving at the end of the season, but the 44-year-old head coach asked to stay on.

The Barca president agreed to this request, but then went back on this agreement and decided to relieve Xavi of his duties. In an interview with Barça One, the club’s TV channel, as cited by Mundo Deportivo, the club’s president revealed that his stance on the manager situation was affected by how Xavi spoke about the team in the press.

He said: “Xavi told me that he trusted this team, but then some of his statements looked like he changed his speech. It caused me to rethink and I had the feeling that I had to do a change, also with the same feeling shared with the board.

“Xavi has done a good job, he took over the team at a time of maximum difficulty, last year we won the league and the Super Cup, but this year things have not gone well. In February I agreed to let him leave in June because he is a culé and because he also helped us not urgently look for a replacement. Then he asked us to continue and I asked him if he believed in the team and he said yes.

“What changed in terms of the team made me reconsider, and I thought of Hansi Flick to get the best out of this squad. It has been finished in an elegant way with Xavi, who has the club’s doors open because he has earned it.”

Yesterday, Real Madrid officially announced the signing of Kylian Mbappé on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain. Laporta believes this signing isn’t good from a Barca perspective, however he believes that the club’s young players from La Masia can lead the Blaugrana back to its glory days.

He added: “As Barça fan, it’s not good news to see Mbappé to Real Madrid. But to be honest, I prefer our strategy to trust a project with players produced and made in La Masia. I respect our rivals but I keep our philosophy.”

Rajan Sangha | GSFN

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