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Joan Laporta Announces Barcelona Presidential Candidacy, Carles Puyol as Director

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It's official, Joan Laporta will be running for FC Barcelona's vacant presidential seat.

Bagu Blanco/Getty Images

Joan Laporta, a former FC Barcelona president and the frontrunner to win this coming election, has officially announced he is running.

He joins Josep Maria Bartomeu, Toni Freixa, Agustí Benedito, Jordi Majó and Jordi Farré as candidates. Bartomeu resigned as president recently to declare his candidacy in the election. He took over for Sandro Rosell, who also had stepped down.

Previous to Rosell, Laporta was in charge. FC Barcelona won four La Liga titles and two Champion League crowns during his reign.

Laporta was behind the appointments of Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola as coaches, and many praise him as being the architect behind some of the club's glory years. Laporta made his pitch simple: "Barça is Cruyff, Masia, Catalonia, UNICEF. A model I will defend."

His critics allege he mixes politics with sport (he is a known supporter of the Catalan independence movement) and that he is financially irresponsible.

Laporta reportedly has an ace up his sleeve, as well: naming legendary captain Carles Puyol as sporting director.