Project Messi can commence! Laporta wins Barcelona presidential election by a landslide

Carlo Garganese
Project Messi can commence! Laporta wins Barcelona presidential election by a landslide

Joan Laporta has stormed to a landslide victory in the Barcelona presidential elections on Sunday.

Laporta won 54.28 per cent of the vote, comfortably defeating the other two candidates; Victor Font (29.99%) and Toni Freixa (8.58%).

Laporta was regarded as the favourite going into Sunday’s election but was expected to face a strong challenge from Font.

However, in the end he romped to a landslide victory.

It is a return to the Barcelona presidency for Laporta after 11 years away.

His first stint as supremo was from 2003 until 2010, a period which was arguably the most glorious in Barcelona’s history.

He spent heavily on world-class stars such as Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry as Barcelona constructed one of the greatest teams of all time.

With a host of legendary homegrown stars such as Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol, Barca won four La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns during his reign.

Laporta’s first Barca reign: 2003 to 2010

La Liga titles4
Champions Leagues2
Copa del Rey1
UEFA Super Cup1
Club World Cup1

However, he faces a tough task to bring back the glory days as Barcelona are in the midst of a financial crisis and do not have the funds to spend heavily this summer.

His first job will be to try and convince Messi to sign a new contract at Camp Nou.

Messi’s current deal is set to expire at the end of the season and he has shown no desire thus far to pen an extension amidst interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

However, Laporta enjoys a good relationship with Messi and earlier on Sunday appeared confident that he can get Messi to stay.

Laporta is expected to travel with the Barcelona team in midweek for their Champions League last 16 second leg tie versus PSG in Paris.

Barcelona trail 4-1 from the first leg and need a miracle to qualify for the next round.