In an interview with CNN, Barcelona’s President Joan Laporta took a sly dig at the players who decided to make a switch to Saudi Arabia. The President shared how soccer might not be the real motivation for the players to make a move to the Saudi side.
Laporta shared, “When a player, and with all respect, prefers to go to Saudi Arabia, basically there are no sporting reasons. You know, there are other reasons that are the priority. And the football must be the priority – the sporting reasons must be the priority.”
Shots fired 😳 pic.twitter.com/mj0WoNBGH9
— GOAL (@goal) August 3, 2023
He further added, “I respect the decisions of the Saudi government that, you know, incorporate talented players. Football is a team sport. Of course, the talented players help us to promote this sport and to make the fans happy because the talent is the talent, but … the team is the priority.”
The Barcelona President believes that there is still a long way for the Saudi clubs to achieve the same amount of success as the European clubs. Although they are on the right path, many elite soccer players have followed in Cristiano Ronaldo‘s footsteps and joined the Saudi Pro League.
Joan Laporta draws a parallel between former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and Xavi
Barcelona’s President drew a parallel between the club’s former manager Pep Guardiola and current manager Xavi. The president shared that both the Spaniards follow the same philosophy that was set by the legendary manager Johan Cruyff.
Joan Laporta shared how Xavi is following in the footsteps of the club’s previous managers. He shared, “They belong to the same school and they share the same philosophy; this great philosophy, the Johan Cruyff philosophy, was for Pep and now is for Xavi.”
He further continued, “And of course, both have some differences, but are coaches with a high personality and they improve this genuine style of playing football that Johan Cruyff implemented in Football Club Barcelona in the past.”
Joan Laporta: “Pep & Xavi belong to the same school and they share the same philosophy; this great philosophy, the Johan Cruyff philosophy, was for Pep and now is for Xavi.”
“And of course, both have some differences, but are coaches with a high personality and they improve this… pic.twitter.com/sQsltaklbf
— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) August 2, 2023
Although the club failed to make it out of the Champions League group stages last season, they managed to win the La Liga title for the first time since 2019. A former Barcelona player and now manager, Xavi, played an important role in the process.
Furthermore, Laporta also shared that the Catalan club is now mostly focused on winning the Spanish League next season. Although they do want to play well in the Champions League, their priority for next season is another Spanish title.