Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman recently announced that La Masia pearl Riqui Puig is not in his plans, and pointed towards an exit for the youngster.
Reportedly, Ronald Koeman has prioritised keeping Carles Aleñá over Puig. Shortly after the report, Culés have been objecting his decision and fully support the 21-year-old. They even have started the hashtag #RiquiNoSeToca (untouchable) which has made it into Twitter’s trending topics in Spain.
Presidential candidate Victor Font also immediately shared his thoughts on the decision, bashing the management:
“Another example of why it is necessary that there is a new project at the club as soon as possible. Decisions like this – which may be key to Barça’s future – should not be taken outside the context of a project with a solid vision and foundations.”Victor Font, via his personal Twitter account
Riqui Puig and his entourage are very disappointed and angry about Koeman’s decision, according to Cadena Ser.
One day after Thiago – one of Barça’s own – joins Liverpool, Barça decide to tell Riqui Puig that he is no longer wanted.
Do we ever learn?
Joan Laporta and Victor Font lock horns in Barcelona presidential debate
The long-awaited presidential debate finally unfolded earlier today as all three of Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Antoni Freixa faced the media and each other. Of course, the whole thing was officially relayed by Barcelona themselves as we get closer to the election date.
But even though there are three candidates, for the majority of the debate, it largely felt like a one-versus-one battle between Laporta and Font. Freixa too had some good points and did his best to fight the other two giants but was outgunned and silenced rather quickly.
As a result, Laporta and Font could lock horns and get at each other’s necks throughout the debate and we’ll highlight some of their most fiery quotes to emerge from the discussion.
Both candidates were quick to mention some of the biggest Barcelona names in an attempt to sway the socis. Font, for example, kept suggesting Xavi himself is supportive of his project: “It’s possible to sign. The project is essential, the people… The socios must know who will make the decisions: Xavi Hernández, Jordi Cruyff, Tito Blanco, and another person we cannot be named named.”
Laporta, on the other hand, didn’t like that at all and responded harshly upon hearing Font utter Xavi’s name. He said: “You must have worked a lot with Xavi, Jordi Cruyff and Benaiges, but they have all denied you. You have made a lot of corrections, you have had a lot of denials. Xavi, Xavi, Xavi, Xavi. You keep repeating that. Either you don’t know the reality of Barça or you don’t know these people. You will have worked with them, but they have denied you.”
Of course, the fans and the socis will be happy to hear Xavi is part of the new sporting project but until the Barcelona legend himself confirms this to be true, we can’t jump to any conclusions. In that regard, Laporta is right and has once again thrown down the glove on his rival.
But Font himself also had some good points. With the pandemic still at large across the globe, electronic voting was a highly-debated topic at Barcelona. Not only would it make for a much safer approach to the elections but would also enable more socis to join in on the voting.
Font was quick to remind everyone Laporta was against such a system, saying: “If you agree with electronic voting, why didn’t you give me any support to bring it to the assembly?”
Ushering Barcelona into the modern age is one of the fundamental things Font has on his list, should he indeed be elected. In his own words, his idea is to once again make the members feel like true owners of the club.
This is what makes Barcelona so special and it’s the model that has served them well throughout their history. He said: “A fundamental pillar of taking Barça into the 21st century is that the members are, once and for all, treated as owners of the club. We have worked on it for years. We want the member to participate in the club’s social life.”
It does seem, however, like Font is very much about the roots and bringing the past back to life. To be fair, both candidates advocate things that are similar in their essence, only they wish to achieve it through different means.
Laporta, for example, is also adamant about giving power to the socis once more but he plans to sway them by ensuring Lionel Messi stays and by building a competitive team via his vast connections. “All the agents in the world of football have addressed us, but I don’t want to destabilize the team. “What we have to do is motivate the players and coaching staff. At Barça there are no transitional seasons. I will try to convince Messi to continue and I can do it.”
A big part of his campaign is also based on the past success he’s had as a Barcelona president. After all, the most successful year in the club’s history had happened under his watch and he was quick to remind everyone about it.
However, this is also what Font dislikes as Laporta makes it look like he has the magic formula for repeating that success. He said: “It is not credible to say that ‘in 2009 I won a sextuple and now, as if by magic, I will do it again'”
But the issue is, Font himself has done a lot of mistakes during his own campaigning for the position. And this may be what makes the difference in the end – Laporta is experienced and at times, that’s a very visible difference between the two.
Not to mention that Laporta is making sure no one forgets about his rival’s blunders. “If you say you’ve worked hard, then it looks like you haven’t worked very well because you’ve had several errors and you’re just rectifying mistakes”
All in all, the debate was a heated discussion with the two frontrunners definitely taking the spotlight. Freixa, unfortunately, couldn’t do much to interfere.
We’re now just one week away from the election day and it remains to be seen who will have gained the most out today’s debate by the time we finally get there.
Either way, in just seven days, Barcelona will have a brand new president, whoever that ends up being.