Barcelona president Joan Laporta wished Lionel Messi could play for the Spanish side for free when the club was not able to offer him a new contract.
Laporta who was elected president of FC Barcelona in March 2021, noted that if Messi had agreed to play for Barca without being paid, La Liga wouldn’t have had a problem with such an arrangement.
Recall that after Messi had spent 17 years of his professional football career at Barcelona, the club failed to offer him a new contract when his contract with the club expired on June 30, 2021.
The reason for Barcelona’s inability to offer the 34-year-old Argentine football icon a new contract was because the club was financially handicapped. Hence, after a series of back and forth, Barcelona announced that Messi would not continue his reign at the Spanish side.
During his last press conference at the club, Lionel Messi confirmed that he accepted a pay cut so that he could stay. He admitted that he didn’t know things have gotten so bad that accepting a pay cut was not enough to make him stay.
Less than two days after the press conference, Lionel Messi joined Paris Saint Germain as a free agent with huge wages attached to his deal.
In an interview with a Spanish radio station, RAC1, Barcelona president Joan Laporta admitted that though he wished Messi could play for Barca for free, it was impossible to ask the record 6 times Ballon d’Or winner to do such a thing.
Laporta also admitted that though Messi wanted to stay, the demands his representative brought to the table added to the pressure the club was already facing.
“There came a time when both parties saw that it would not be possible. There was a disappointment on both sides,” Barcelona president Joan Laporta said.
“He wanted to stay but they also had a lot of pressure because of the offer they had.
“I hoped Messi would do a U-turn and he would say he would play for free.
“I would have liked that and I would have been all for it. It is my understanding La Liga would have accepted it. But we cannot ask a player of Messi’s stature to do this.”
Since the departure of Lionel Messi in August 2021, Barcelona have been a complete shadow of their former self.
So far this season, they have recorded two defeats in the UEFA Champions League. While in the league, they have recorded three draws, three wins, and a defeat.
Their inconsistent results have placed them on the 9th spot on the league table with 12 points in 7 games, five points away from first placed Real Madrid.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirms that the club would not use Camp Nou for the 2022-2023 season
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed that the club would not use their home ground, Camp Nou for the 2022-2023 season due to the planned refurbishment of the stadium.
He revealed that the club could use the Johan Cruyff Stadium or Montjuic Stadium to execute the season.
“We are considering different possibilities, but the strongest candidate is the Johan Cruyff Stadium,” Laporta said.
To execute the planned refurbishment of the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona that is near bankruptcy plans to secure a 1.5 billion euros loan. Once the club’s board members vote in favor of the loan, Laporta would swing into action to secure it.
“(The new Camp Nou) is fundamental for the viability of the club and its immediate future,” Laporta added. “The impact it will have for Barca is critical so that we can compete with our competitors who have already done what is needed.”
The refurbishment of the Camp Nou would see the stadium’s capacity increase from 99,000 seats to 110,000 seats which would make it one of the biggest stadiums in the world.
It would take the club three to four years to complete the renovation of the stadium according to Barcelona president Joan Laporta.