Things to know about the Barcelona presidential candidate

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Joan Laporta has announced his intention to run for the presidency of Barcelona and succeed Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Bartomeu resigned in October, dropping a bombshell on proposals for a European Super League as he left. The election to determine his replacement takes place on January 24.

Laporta is one of the eight candidates for the position, along with Victor Font, Toni Freixa, Agusti Benedito, Jordi Farre, Lluis Fernandez Ala, Xavier Vilajoana and Pere Riera. Here is everything you need to know about him.

The former president of Barcelona Joan Laport
Laporta was part of Guardiola’s golden age in Barcelona | JOSEP LAGO / Getty Images

This would not be Laporta’s first stage as president of Barcelona, ​​since he was previously in charge between 2003 and 2010.

He oversaw a brilliant period in the club’s history, as Barcelona clinched four La Liga titles and two in the Champions League. The club became synonymous with reaping successes with a group of local talents at the center, and Laporta was the man responsible for hiring a virtually untested and untested Pep Guardiola in 2008.

Subsequently, Barcelona enjoyed the best season in the club’s history in 2008/09, ending the year with a record six trophies. They are widely considered one of the best clubs of all time.

Barcelona's new Brazilian soccer star, Ro
Ronaldinho was Laporta’s signing | JOSE JORDAN / Getty Images

When he ran for the presidency of Barcelona in 2003, Laporta was initially considered an outsider.

However, he won the favor of his charisma and vowed to bring Manchester United star David Beckham to the Camp Nou.

Laporta eventually beat favorite Lluís Bassat to the presidency, and Beckham joined Real Madrid. The new president committed to signing Ronaldinho.

The president of Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, responds
Laporta contended with resignations from the board and a vote of no confidence during his first term | LLUIS GENE / Getty Images

Despite the great success of Barcelona during Laporta’s tenure, it was not always universally popular.

In June 2005, five members of the Barcelona board resigned accusing Laporta of abusing his power as president.

Later that year, his brother-in-law Alejandro Echevarría, another Barcelona board member, was forced to resign after it emerged that he was a member of the Francisco Franco Foundation, an organization that promotes support for the controversial Spanish dictator Francisco Frank. a man little loved in Catalonia due to the suppression of Catalan culture during his regime.

Laporta himself is a Catalan nationalist and a supporter of the independence of Catalonia. He has been accused of allowing his own political loyalties to interfere with the running of the club.

Laporta also faced a vote of no-confidence shortly before signing Pep Guardiola in the summer of 2008, after Barcelona finished third in La Liga during the 2007/08 season, 18 points behind rival Real.

The president of FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta (left)
Laporta marked the Barcelona shirt with the children’s charity UNICEF | FABRICE COFFRINI / Getty Images

Barcelona have long prided themselves on being the “people’s club” and, for the first 107 years of its history, it never had a jersey sponsor.

Laporta was the man who first put a name on the front of Barcelona’s shirt, when in 2006 the club signed a five-year agreement with UNICEF and donated € 1.5 million to the charity.

Since then, the club has made its first foray into commercial sponsors, signing an agreement with the Qatar Foundation in 2011, a move that drew criticism from Laporta.

The former president of Barcelona Joan Laport
Laporta has spoken of his relationship with Messi | JOSEP LAGO / Getty Images

By announcing that he intended to run for Barcelona’s presidency once again, Laporta has vowed to restore the club’s famed La Masia academy to its former glory under the motto of ‘You will never walk alone’.

He has also spoken of his ‘relationship of mutual respect’ with the talisman Lionel Messi, revealing his desire to bring Guardiola back to the Camp Nou when he first announced his intention to perform in May, although Guardiola has since signed a new contract. in Manchester. City.

Laporta is the ex-boyfriend who does not have any kind of coldness on social networks.

A quick glance at his Instagram and Twitter accounts will show you that he posts about almost nothing else.

A throwback to the 2006 Champions League winning team on that important 14th anniversary? Of course. Retweeting endless tweets from Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola fan boy? You gamble.

You’re having the occasional, guilty, subtle stalking on your ex’s social media, and then you’re nostalgically tweeting about the good old days every day despite the breakup more than a decade ago. You can’t blame their commitment.

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