In an interview with DPA, Joan Laporta revealed today that he is considering making a return to FC Barcelona, hinting that he may even run for presidency as early as 2016, where he would be in direct competition with his former vice-president, and successor, Sandro Rosell. Laporta – who was famously elected in 2003 after promising to sign David Beckham – oversaw one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, as Barcelona complemented two UEFA Champions League trophies with a staggering ten other trophies, including four La Liga titles.
Thanks to his unprecedented success as club president, Laporta remains a popular figure amongst Culés and while he admitted he is as yet undecided about a return to office, there are many who would love to see Laporta stand for election in 2016 – and with good reason too. Not only were the Blaugrana successful on the field, but they were also reasonably successful in the transfer market as well. Ronaldinho, Deco, Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry, Dani Alves, and Eric Abidal; these are just a few of the big-name signings that Laporta made in his tenure, although admittedly, there were a few questionable decisions over the years as well (Henrique, Keirrison, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Aleksandr Hleb and Maxi Lopez all spring to mind). Having survived a vote of no confidence in 2008, Laporta finally departed the Camp Nou in 2010 to embark on a short-lived career in politics, intermittently re-emerging in the spotlight to fight off various legal battles – many of which were filed by Sandro Rosell.
As a result, Laporta tends to criticise Rosell at every opportunity, and this interview was no exception.
When asked about Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League semi-final defeat against Bayern Munich, Laporta levelled a thinly veiled attack on Rosell, saying "there are people devoted to destroying the reputation and legacy of others" and he went on to criticise the "panic" appointment of Tito Vilanova too. I understand his feud with Rosell, but why did Laporta feel the need to include Tito Vilanova? Above all else, Laporta is supposed to be a fan of the club and I don’t see how his criticism is going to help Tito Vilanova, or help Barca secure their 22nd La Liga title. Instead, these comments only serve to help one person: Joan Laporta.
And it’s always been that way. Sure, he’s had the best intentions for the club at heart, but the bottom line is that Joan Laporta comes first. Whether he was leading the "Elefant Blau" or promising to sign players who had already packed their bags for Madrid, Laporta consistently put his own ambitions first – and judging by this interview, nothing has changed.