Laporta Claims FC Barcelona Possess a Superior Team to Real Madrid
FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed his club have a better team than bitter rivals Real Madrid and explained why he pulled out of the pursuit for Turkish wonderkid Arda Guler during an interview with SPORT.
Barca coach Xavi Hernandez’s men returned to training on Monday and will begin their preseason preparations in the United States next week.
Despite Barca only making two key signings in Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez, while Madrid have landed the likes of Jude Bellingham and Guler among others, Laporta believes that his club’s first team is stronger than that of their arch nemesis in the Spanish capital.
“We have a better team than Madrid and, individually, we are also better with a certain difference from our rivals,” Laporta bragged to SPORT.
“As a club member and fan I am very satisfied with the team we are building.”
Though others are spending huge amounts of money to improve their squads and Barca can’t thanks to financial restrictions, Laporta is confident that the Blaugrana “already have a very competitive team.”
“We have won the Spanish League and we can continue to exercise hegemony in this competition.
“I focus on making a good team over signing individuals. We have signed Gundogan and Inigo Martínez and they will give us a great performance like the others who are going to come,” Laporta teased.
Laporta said that he and his board are “clear about the coach’s requests” as per what Xavi wants and needs.
“Maybe a full-back is missing and something in midfield, and we will try to satisfy him,” Laporta vowed.
“The team has won major titles again and we are ambitious for the future. It’s working well and the coach is also doing well. We all want to live many more joys in the coming years.”
Barca missed out on Guler to Real Madrid after Laporta revealed his club were in the hunt for the young Turk, and he also let it slip that sporting director Deco had traveled to Fenerbahce to close the deal with his camp and former club Fenerbahce.
To SPORT, Laporta claimed that Barca could have competed for Guler’s signature but had to pull out after applying “common sense” when the operation was growing in financial magnitude.
Laporta explained that the club now self-imposes criteria that “we are not going to transgress”, with the aim of “not going backwards again”.
This was a nod to financial mismanagement during the reign of his predecessor Josep Bartomeu, which left Barca “technically bankrupt” when Laporta took over through winning the presidential election in spring 2021.