Joan Laporta on Lionel Messi, Saudi Arabia links and Barcelona

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta spoke about several issues on TV3’s ‘Els matins’ programme the day after Barça won the La Liga title, including Lionel Messi.

Laporta on Lionel Messi

“I have spoken to Leo to somehow redirect a situation that occurred where I had to put the institution above everything else, even him, the best player in the world. It was a very affectionate and pleasant conversation. We have sent messages lately… I congratulated him on the World Cup. We have known each other for years, since he was 14 years old, there is a relationship there.”

Laporta wanted to make it clear that “Messi loves Barça, let nobody doubt it. He feels that Barça is his home” and that “it would be a disservice to talk about these questions about Leo because he belongs to PSG, we have to wait until the end of the season and then we can talk about it calmly.”

In relation to the possible offer from Saudi Arabia for Messi, Laporta pointed out that “with all due respect to Saudi Arabia, Barça is Barça and it is his home. Barça can compete with anyone, history backs us up. Saudi Arabia is doing a very good job and they are investing and working very well, but Barça is Barça”.

On whether the World Cup winner has a place in the team, he added that “it’s a question that Xavi would have to answer. Any coach would want to coach the best player in the world, he has unique qualities.”

Kieran Quaile | GSFN

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