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Victor Font ‘yes to the future’ project

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Photo by Marta Pérez via Imago

‘Sí al futur’ means ‘Yes to the future’ in Catalan. It is a project that is being led by Victor Font, a technology entrepreneur and now a Presidential candidate. This article will cover everything about Victor Font’s Sí al futur – the implementation, the execution and the aim.

Note: Barcelona/Club Members doesn’t refer to the Board members but people who have applied for a membership (learn more here).

About the project

A group of FC Barcelona members (including Victor Font), have come together to collaborate and work on this project, a project that builds the new Barca, a Barcelona without Lionel Messi. The idea of the project is to use the skills of all Barca fans with a clear aim of serving the Barcelona institution and not the leaders. The objective of the project is to change the current model of the Club and to build a more stable, a newer and a better Barcelona by 2030.

Returning to where it all began: La Masia

The Sí al futur project claims that the most viable method for Barcelona to return to the top, is by returning to its roots – the La Masia academy. La Masia, home to legends like Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez – is Barcelona’s youth academy that shapes promising footballers from a younger age.

“They [Real Madrid] buy superstars. We [Barcelona] make them!”

Joan Laporta

As Joan Laporta once infamously said. In the last few years, Barcelona has kept going further and further away from their once acclaimed transfer policy. The majority of the Bartomeu reign has seen ‘Galactico’ signings like Phillipe Coutinho (140M), who have ironically failed. There is no trust in La Masia stars, and that is exactly what Victor Font pledges to change. He believes that is the La Masia players who know the Barcelona model by heart and they are the ones who are better positioned to lead Barca’s future sporting project.

Xavi Hernandez as Barcelona manager

Every Culés’ dream. Xavi Hernandez, the next in line after Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff, returning back to Barcelona one day as manager. Well, that day could be here soon. Xavi has begun his managerial career at Al Sadd, and he might not be super far away from the Barcelona job. Xavi claims that he requires at least 2 years of experience before taking the reigns at Barcelona, perfectly alligned with when Victor Font will go into power (if elected)

“I hope Xavi leads our footballing project at Barcelona”

Victor Font

Font is a big admirer of Xavi, and is beyond convinced that he is the right man to lead Barcelona to glory. He knows that Xavi is well aware of Barcelona’s ways and his ideologies will emulate those of Cruyff, if not improve them. Xavi too reciprocates the praises.

On the Catalunya Radio show, ‘El Club de la Mitjanit’, Xavi said, ‘I think he [Font] is well prepared and a good candidate. The socios would do well to keep him in mind in the next elections. I think he’s a very suitable person to lead the ship, this transatlantic that I would say Barça is.”

Xavi has already started his journey to becoming the manager of Barcelona, and it’s a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when’. Xavi and Font at the helm of the Club, can and will most likely lead Barcelona to glory.

Electronic voting system

Font believes in the use of a software (already programmed and delivered to the Club), which will enable the election of a new president through electronic voting in 2021.

“It is a key tool in the transformation of the management model we promote. It does not make any sense that a club like Barça with 140,000 owners and always linked to democracy should not take into account their opinion except when voting in elections every six years.”

Victor Font

Sí al futur intends to apply the electronic vote in many places. Of course, the elections to the presidency, but also in some symbolic issues, such as the design of the jersey and the badge. Font states that “the commitment to electronic voting does not mean that the board of directors does not govern, but rather that it will listen to the opinion of the Club members (Socis) before making certain decisions”.

Font’s insistence on using electronic vote is in order to allow more people to voice their opinions and to find out what Barça members really want.

A new governance model

One of the most important changes Font wishes to implement – a completely new and revamped governance model. Font is proposing governance that is based on an advisory board formed of specialists.

“It is no longer sufficient for a large endowment to be managed among a group of friends and acquaintances, instead we need to constuct an advisory board that is replete with competent individuals who are skilled and have experience in the sporting industry”

Victor Font

Font’s idea is to have a separate board of advisors, consisting of the Barcelona members, who advise, suggest and give their opinions on different situations so that the club can formulate good solutions for different issues. This is opposed to the current, traditional model where the Barcelona board makes all the key decisions without any input from the Barcelona members.

The concept is a voting system that would focus on the key decisions for the club and not merely on day-to-day activities.

Font’s goal is to allow the Barcelona members to be heavily involved in the important decisions of the club.

A new business model

Probably the most innovtive idea Font has.

“No one has the magic formula… yet”

Victor Font

In the summer of 2018, Antoine Griezmann rejected a move to Barcelona, and Gerard Pique made a documentary on it. Font thought that it was an extremely creative idea.

Font feels Barca have wasted the “best-ever generation of footballers” by failing to lead the way with similar, insightful content during the last decade.

Font believes that content is extremely powerful, and creative, innovative and imaginative content can be used to generate a lot of revenue for the club.

“A club can make creative content, and then people around the world would be ready to pay €5 per year, on a subscription-based model, for that exclusive content. It’s about being proactive, taking some initiative and seeing how you can benefit the club. This is the type of innovation which technology allows you to do. What has exponential growth potential is going directly to the consumer because you have 400 or 500 million fans around the world. If you sell €5 a year [to each of them], that’s €2.5 billion in revenue per year, only from the fans.”

So to sum up, Font’s masterplan is to continue using the traditional business model while also using Entertainment and Media, which are both extremely powerful, and game-changing tools.

Més Que un Club

Who better to lead the club, than the Barcelona legends who would die for the club. Font understands that – figures like Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, etc. – are people who know Barcelona in and out, know what the fans demand, know the tradition and culture at the heart of the club. They are the people who truly care about the club, who want to see it succeed – not for their financial gain.

Our best shot

Life without Messi is going to be difficult, it’s going to be hard. The loss of the greatest player in football history, and arguably the most iconic – is going to hurt Barcelona in a sporting way, a political way and an economical way. On top of that, the club has been in a lot of debt recently due to the excessive amount of loans the current board has taken, so the financial stability of the club isn’t completely assured right now.

The post-Messi era is going to happen, it is inevitable. This will be the biggest challenge Barcelona will ever have to face – nobody knows what will happen, but Victor Font is most probably the best chance we have of getting through the change and setting up a new dynasty, maybe a better one.

My name is Malhar. I've been watching Barcelona ever since I saw Barca's Spanish players dismantle opponents for fun in the 2010 World Cup. Over the years, my love for Barcelona has evolved into a passion to write about Barcelona. I love writing about the club. I usually have very unpopular opinions, but I'm proud of them and I stand by them. Feel free to discuss about anything related to football, with me!

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Santiago Bernabeu: Lionel Messi’s conquered ground

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Photo via Imago

With the second edition of El Clásico in the 2020/21 season less than 72 hours away, the footballing world is once more about to come to a standstill. Its master, a certain Lionel Andrés Messi, has ripped almost all the records pertaining to this tie to shreds. The Argentine maestro holds the record for the most goals as well as assists for any player against Los Blancos and will seek to add to this tally once Barcelona sets foot in Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano stadium.

Being a Barça player, every encounter against the eternal rival will be a special one. With the Clásico being played away from the ever-iconic Santiago Bernabéu due to the reconstructing taking place, we here at Barca Universal thought to re-live three of the 6-time Ballon D’or winner’s most memorable games in the Spanish Capital. He is, after all, the individual with the most goals for any player in the Clásico, and with goals come memories that will be indelibly etched in the history books for aeons to come.

3. Pep Guardiola’s False 9
Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona | 2008/09

“Lionel Messi takes his time, and walks it in. Start shining the trophy now, the league may well be Barcelona’s.”

The Catalans’ 2-6 victory over Real Madrid is just one among a host of iconic performances that the Merengues were unfortunate enough to bear witness to in their own backyard. This humiliation in particular, against their biggest rivals, is one that the Madrid faithful will never truly scrape from their minds, not only for their sheer inferiority to Barcelona but the consequences that Pep Guardiola’s tactics would have on their ultimate enemy.

The bald genius, as some call him, gave new life to Messi, and such was his aptitude in this role that he continues to this day to terrorise defences in precisely the same way. Sitting between strikers Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry, the Argentine was tasked with acting as a false 9 in such a way that he would attract defenders to himself and punish his hosts for the slightest of lapses in concentration.

Putting theory into practice, La Pulga’s first contribution of the night came in precisely this manner. He lured a familiar foe in Madrid captain Sergio Ramos out of his den by occupying Zone 14, played a delicate chip into Henry who darted into the vacated space, and, cool as you like, he curved the ball past Iker Casillas to equalise the score for the Garnet and Blue after Gonzalo Higuain helped Madrid take the lead.

Lionel Messi at the forefront of destruction. (Photo via Imago)

Bewildered, and with their lead lost, Real Madrid’s incapacity to handle the little man meant that this was just the beginning of possibly their worst nightmare. Carlos Puyol helped Barça take the lead just two minutes after this, and just after the hour mark, Messi would add further gloss to the scoreline.

The Catalans’ asphyxiating press proved too much for their Madrid counterparts to contend with, and it was in precisely this manner that they got their third. Xavi Hernández dispossessed Lassana Diarra following a pass from Casillas, and laid the ball on a plate for the Barça number 10. With acres of space and an infinite amount of time to think, he went one on one with San Iker, and with ice in his veins, placed the ball into the bottom corner of the net to essentially expel all hope Los Merengues had of mounting a comeback.

Even with a quarter of the game left to play, Messi was far from done with his torture of Madrid. Still, in his free role as a false 9, the Argentine drew left-back Gabriel Heinze towards him, released the ball to Xavi and darted into the newly vacated space. Casillas had the chance to make amends for having conceded the early goal, but Messi had other ideas. He faked one shot, and with the Madrid captain’s positioning now off, the Argentine took full advantage, slotting the ball past the Spaniard at the near post to record his 22nd goal of the season, as well as seal the Manita for his side.

Far from finished with his systematic dismantling of Madrid, he would play a massive role in creating the sixth and final goal for three Blaugrana. He lacerated the Madrid backline with a through ball to Samuel Eto’o down the wing. He then delivered a ball to Gérard Piqué, who slotted the ball past his Spanish comrade to record the sixth and final goal for Barcelona.

It was by some accounts his individual best performance against Madrid, but he would have another equally brilliant moment just two years later against his eternal rivals.

2. The best on the planet
Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona | 2010/11

“Away from two, three, four… Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. How good is he!”

The 2010/11 campaign saw Pep Guardiola mould what is largely considered to be the best football team ever to have graced the earth. Their football was as enthralling as it was captivating; their passing as exquisite as it was crisp; their pressing as coordinated as it was choking; and to cap it all off, they had a version of Messi as majestic as he was deadly.

In stark contrast to the 5-0 annihilation and mesmeric football on display in the Nou Camp following the Catalan elections the year prior, this match was marked with a host of needless fouls brought about by the ruthless aggression of José Mourinho’s forces. They were out to avoid, at all costs, the sort of drubbing they had faced just the year prior, as well as end their decade long quest for a European crown. Lionel Messi had other ideas in store for them.

Bombarded by the ludicrous foul play by Sergio Ramos and Álvaro Arbeloa, the Argentine endured one of his most gruesome matches against the old enemy. Crafty as he is, he still ran circles around the Madrid defence whenever the opportunity presented itself, but such was the marking against him that he would always meet around five or six players laying in wait for him.

The match seemed closer to a draw than it was anything else, as Barça were incapable of finding their way through the white wall of Madrid.

Madrid maintaining social distancing from Messi. (Photo via Imago)

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and for the Garnet and Blue, Lionel Messi was that man. From Barcelona’s right flank, Ibrahim Affelay skipped past Marcelo Vieira with relative ease, and once at the byline, he played a sumptuous low cross into Messi’s path. Arbeloa failed to make any contact, and ready to pounce on the perfectly weighted ball was the bane of their existence, in the form of a little man with a 10 on the back of his shirt. He tapped the ball home, through Iker Casillas’ legs and into the back of the net to get that all so crucial away goal.

Real Madrid were in trouble. Their game plan might have involved shutting Barça out for the most time they possibly could, and perhaps seek an away draw in the Nou Camp to get to the final in Wembley. Disgruntled, and incapable of processing what had just happened, the capital club began leaving enormous spaces, the sort that Messi lives for.

With three minutes left to play, the then two-time Ballon D’or winner played a quick one-two with Sergio Busquets near the halfway line. Even with a sea of white right before his eyes, the Argentine didn’t break a sweat. He gracefully weaved his way past four Madrid players, and one on one with San Iker, he slotted the ball home with his right foot to seal the victory. No one could have foreseen this happening. Well, no one but that little magician in Garnet and Blue.

Even though Rob Palmer said it in a different game, Harry Houdini had nothing on Messi’s magic, and that goal was evidence of that. He had the audacity to craft such a move out of relatively nothing, in a champions league semifinal, and against his arch-rivals no less. Simply Messi.

1. It isn’t over until he says it is
Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona | 2016/17

“Lionel Messi does it again he’s superhuman! Lionel Messi has just, exploded La Liga into life.”

On a run of six consecutive games without either a goal in all competitions against Real Madrid, doubts were raised over just how much Lionel Messi could do in this edition of the Clásico, especially bearing in mind the level of the version of the hosts he was up against. Los Blancos were, by many accounts, Europe’s best team that year. Fresh from a rather controversial 4-2 thumping of Bayern München in the Champions League, confidence was high in the Madrid camp, and with reason.

Barcelona needed to win to keep their La Liga title hopes alive and do so by any means necessary, and win they did, in quite emphatic fashion too.

Much like in 2011, Messi would be the unfortunate victim of a host of fouls from Los Blancos. Casemiro was hovering near Messi, and had already attempted two-card worthy challenges on the Argentine, only receiving one for taking him down near the centre circle. Not too long after, Marcelo Vieira elbowed him right in his mouth, somehow avoiding a red card for what seemed a deliberate offence from the Brazilian.

Los Merengues triggered him one time too many, and with the lion now awoken and infuriated by the needless assaults on him, he went on his hunt for goals. Subsequent to an extensively long possession phase by the Catalans, Ivan Rakitić, from the right halfspace, found La Pulga briskly making a run towards him. With one touch, he put his opponents to a standstill, the second and with their motion against them, he rid himself of all Madrid’s defenders, and with his third, he calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net past a helpless Keylor Navas.

With time going by, hope quickly faded away. Even without Sergio Ramos in defence following his crude two-footed challenge on Messi himself, all of Barça’s efforts on goal were met by save after save from the Costa Rican goalkeeper. To make matters worse, just four minutes from time, substitute James Rodriguez scored the equaliser to kill off the Blaugranas’ spirits — or so he thought.

With twenty seconds left to play, the Garnet and Blue showed their mental fortitude in its finest form. Sergi Roberto skipped past two Madrid defenders and made a darting run into the central midfield. He then laid the ball off to André Gomes, who immediately played the ball into Jordi Alba’s path. The Spaniard instinctively played the cutback to Messi, and for that one second, time stood still.

Dani Carvajal, noticing his error, ran right towards him. Keylor Navas, who by then had already produced at least ten saves, was perfectly positioned on the right. In front of him were two of his own teammates. Everything about this shot should have made it impossible to go in, but with this little man, is impossible even a word? On his left foot, and with 80,000 Madridistas whistling him, the 6-time Ballon D’or winner curled the ball into the back of the net, making it 2-3 in the final quarter of a minute and breaking the hearts of all Merengues before him.

What followed was easily the coldest celebration of all time. In front of hoards of Madridistas and a sea of white, Messi took his shirt off, reminding them who ran the place. It was the ultimate way to score his 500th goal for his beloved club, and in such a way that not a single Madridista will ever forget. All eleven players from the other aisle either fell to their knees in awe or lamented in bitter frustration. They had just been crushed, and crudely so, by a man they once so desperately wanted and could never have.

Iconic. (Photo via Imago)

The question remains, what sort of a mark will Lionel Messi leave on the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium? Well, in due time, in perhaps his final Clásico, with the league on the line, we’ll find out.

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