Joan Laporta has officially announced his bid to become Barcelona president and run in the elections scheduled for January 24th.
Laporta previously served as club president between 2003 and 2010, overseeing the construction of one of the greatest club teams in football history alongside Pep Guardiola.
Laporta and his team have positioned themselves as a group of Barcelonistes who understand the feeling of the club better than most, and that they will endeavour to return the club to its fundamental value of prioritising social and human values as well as economic and sporting ambitions.
They also intend on placing renewed emphasis on La Masia and Barcelona’s responsibility of projecting Catalonia to the world, as well as increasing economic responsibility and sporting ambition according to his campaign website.
“I’m running for elections because I love the club,” Laporta said at his official announcement.
“We have the preparation, experience and determination necessary for the changes that the club need. We have a plan. The plan is to work.
“I want to unite all Barca fans. This is not the time to reproach or look back. In the Barca that we propose, everyone fits.
“Our plan is to bring back happiness to the people. It’s not a simple election promise. It’s an ethical, civic, moral, social and united commitment.”
Laporta also touched on one of the most significant talking points surrounding the upcoming election – convincing captain Lionel Messi to stay at the club he tried to leave last summer.
“I have yet to speak with Messi,” he said.
“We appreciate each other and we respect each other. He has time to decide – I am waiting to have the confidence of the socios.
“Messi loves Barca and I’m sure that the club can give him an opportunity. I see myself capable of, at the right moment, having a conversation with him. I know we can give each other some margin, anything can happen in life.”
Laporta, 58, was born and raised in Barcelona and studied law at the city’s university. Upon graduation he established his own law firm, Laporta & Arbos.
Laporta also served as MP in the Parliament of Catalonia between 2010 and 2012.