Why is new Barcelona signing Franck Kessie nicknamed ‘The President’?

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia 6 Jul 2022 19:58 BST 3 min read
Franck Kessie, Milan, 2021/22

Franck Kessie’s unveiling at Barcelona marked the arrival of a new president at the club, but the signing’s nickname is no threat to current chief Joan Laporta – except perhaps to his parking space.

Kessie has penned a four-year contract with the club after his contract expired at Milan and the Ivory Coast midfielder revealed how he earned the nickname ‘The President’ at the San Siro.

“They called me that at Milan because one time I arrived in my car at the training facility and I parked where the president parked,” Kessie explained.

“The security guard came over and told me to park it somewhere else. So, after that time they starting calling me the new president!”

Welcome to Barcelona, Mr President

Kessie established himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe during his time in Italy with Atalanta, Cesena and Milan.

Despite being known for his defensive work, Kessie scored six goals last season as Milan won Serie A, having also netted 13 times in the previous campaign.

He had agreed to join Barcelona months ago however the Spanish outfit could not finalise the deal until their ‘economic levers’ were activated due to their ongoing financial issues.

Kessie will likely be the long-term replacement to captain Sergio Busquets, who is due to leave the club next summer upon the expiry of his contract.

The Ivorian also revealed that former Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped convince him to join Barca, having played for the club earlier in his career.

The arrival of Kessie could see progress in Manchester United’s move for Frenkie De Jong, although Barca are still unsure over whether to accept the £55 million bid for the Dutchman.

But having also confirmed the signing of Andreas Christensen on a free transfer from Chelsea, the club may be forced into letting De Jong depart in order to meet the asking prices for top targets Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski.

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