A couple of days before the 2015 presidential elections, this author sat down in a one-to-one interview with Joan Laporta.
What he told me then is virtually a mirror of his modus operandi now, and what got him elected this time around.
You can still find the interview if you wish to look for it.
Laporta insisted that La Masia was the pillar on which he would base his presidency. How it was the essence of what Barcelona were about.
It was one of a few reasons why he still believed that Barca were ‘Mes que un club.’
After Josep Maria Bartomeu’s disastrous tenure, when the importance of the academy was lost, it’s going to take all of Laporta’s powers of leadership to recover the previous model within a few short years.
Clearly, it won’t be an overnight process, though Ronald Koeman is already helping the club to move in that direction.
What’s interesting, ahead of the summer transfer window, are the persistent rumours surrounding Gini Wijnaldum and Sergio Aguero.
Both do not fit with the type of Barca that Laporta has promised and indeed, got elected for.
Though there’s an understanding that by bringing the Argentinian to the club could help to keep Lionel Messi in situ, such a move would send out totally the wrong message.
At 33 by the time he would pull on a Barca shirt in earnest, Aguero would have two years – at best – left at the top level, and that’s if he remains off of the treatment table.
The risks and expenditure in terms of salary more than outweighs the benefits.
Is he better than Martin Braithwaite? Yes. Would his experience benefit the team in the short term? Potentially. Does he stop a La Masia product from potentially fulfilling their first-team aspirations? Absolutely. continue reading