Barca president: We are better than Real Madrid

Adriana GarciaJuly 12, 2023, 09:45 am3 minutes to read

Joan Laporta was re-elected president of Barcelona in March 2021.Marc Graupera Aloma / AFP7 via Getty Images

Barcelona president, ​Joan Laporta, says his side are better than bitter rivals Real Madrid and can not only keep LaLiga next season but also win the Champions League.

Barca returned to pre-season training earlier this week and have had two signings in the transfer window so far – Ilkay Gundogan and Iñigo Martinez.

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«We have a better team than Madrid and individually we are better too, with some differences compared to our rivals,» Laporta told Sport. «As a member and fan of the club, I am very pleased with the team we are building.»

Madrid, who finished second to Barca last season in LaLiga, have added Jude Bellingham, Joselu, Fran Garcia and former Barca target Arda Guler this summer.

“We had a very competitive team,” Laporta said. «We won the Spanish league and we can continue to dominate it. We want to be in the Champions League too.

«I’m more focused on making a better team than signing individuals. We’ve signed Gundogan and Martinez and they’re going to give us great performances like everyone else. upcoming.

«We are missing a right-back and we are studying that. We also want to strengthen our midfield.»

However, Barca failed in their efforts to bring Lionel Messi back to the club.

The 2022 World Cup winner will be making his debut at Inter Miami on Sunday after leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent last month.

“He had the idea to come this time, we wanted him to come,” Laporta said. «It didn’t happen.

«We were authorized by LaLiga to include in Leo’s contract. That was discussed with Jorge [Lionel Messi’s father and agent] and everything is fixed.

«Jorge told us that he [Messi] decided to choose Inter Miami because he had had some very difficult seasons in Paris where he was under a lot of pressure, that in Miami he would be calmer and able to think about the national team. family. We didn’t talk anymore.»

Laporta believes it’s hard to envision Messi, 36, returning to play for Barca before the end of his career.

«That’s something to ask him,» Laporta said. «I find it more complicated.

«Leo is very self-centered, he has a special talent and he can always show because he is always decisive, as seen in the World Cup.

«We wish him all the best in Miami and Barca is his home. It was a relationship that ended when he arrived in Paris. It was resumed without achieving what both sides wanted and it’s correct now.»

Messi left Barca as a free agent in August 2021 due to the club’s financial crisis, during which Laporta admitted that his board had inherited the club’s record debt. is 1.35 billion euros ($1.48 billion).

Last month, Barca received approval from LaLiga for a financial plan, allowing the club to register players.

«We’ve left the hospital and are adjusting to a normal life,» Laporta said. «The club is better than it was two years ago. The importance of the movie is huge.

«The fun is back with Barcelona and now we’ve won again. It’s been moderate fun, but we’re on the right track.

«We have this [financial] possible plan, it is scheduled for January [2024] or june [2024].»

Barca are waiting to see if they can sign teenage striker Vitor Roque this transfer window.

The Catalan side have agreed to sign the Brazilian from Athletico-PR for a reported fee of 40 million euros ($44.1 million).

“We can say that Vitor Roque has closed the deal,” Laporta said. «The contract has been signed, and he is a Barca player.»

Laporta did not specify when Roque will join Barca.

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