Barcelona have officially unveiled Deco as the club’s new sporting director, with the former player taking over from Mateu Alemany.
The former Portugal international spoke at the unveiling on a range of topics, including Xavi’s renewal and the futures of several members of the squad.
FC Barcelona's new sporting structure chart presented pic.twitter.com/X8JaZR7Opp— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 13, 2023
Barcelona also confirmed a new role for Bojan at the club, with the former forward returning to work with La Masia players and those out on loan.
Here are the best bits:
Deco on Xavi
Xavi has earned the respect of being the coach of FC Barcelona, not because he is Xavi, but because he has shown that he is a good coach. He has earned his renewal. We are happy, not only for the figure, but also for the coach. He did not earn the renewal because he is Xavi, he earned it because he did a great job. He happens to be one of the best players in the club’s history, but he is proving himself to be a great coach with what he has done. I am sure we will reach an agreement.
Deco on Lamine Yamal
He is a player who has surprised us. Xavi gave him his debut last season. He is a kid who has his feet on the ground. He has a different quality. We are talking about a 16-year-old player, we have to let him have fun and Xavi and his staff know how to handle him.
Deco on Yamal and Alejandro Balde
The two renovations are underway. There will be news in the coming weeks.
Deco on Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix
Everyone has made efforts to come. Neither Cancelo nor Joao Félix have a purchase option. It is a simple one-year transfer. If they do well we will try to retain them, but for now, it is a transfer.
Deco on Vitor Roque
We always want to bring him as soon as possible. Vitor Roque’s plan is that he can only come in January or next year. Not coming sooner has been due to a negotiation issue with Athletico Paranaense and we had to accept it.
Deco on Lionel Messi
Leo is a friend and I am very fond of him. Now I talk to him less, because he is further away. We all wanted to have Leo but it has not been possible due to situations that we already know. He is the best footballer in the history of the club. I see him happy and enjoying Inter Miami. As Barcelona fans and a fan of Leo, I wish him the best.
Xavi on Bojan’s role
He has been a young player who joined the first team at a very young age and who is highly regarded within the club. He will be in charge of following the players on loan and watching the youngsters. At the club we believe that this figure was missing in the sports structure and that he will work together with Alexanco, me and Xavi.