Following months of speculation, it has now been confirmed that Joan Laporta will also be in the running to become the next FC Barcelona president, and he immediately spoke about the importance of Lionel Messi at the launch of his candidacy.
Laporta was president of the club between 2003 and 2010, a highly successful era in which the club won the UEFA Champions League as well as the sextuple, among many other titles.
Speaking at the launch of his presidential campaign, which will be known as 'Estimem el Barca' (We Love Barca), he touched on the topic of Messi's future after the Argentina superstar wanted a move away from the club in the previous window.
Check out Messi's tribute to the late Diego Maradona in the gallery below:
"I will never forget the look in the eyes of the 20-year-old kid (Messi) when I told him that he will be the Barcelona captain and will wear the No. 10 jersey one day," Laporta said, according to Barca Universal.
"No one can doubt Messi's love for Barcelona. I haven't spoken to Messi yet, but we respect each other and he has time to decide.
"Messi loves Barca and I'm sure he can give the club a chance. I will be able to, at the right time, have a conversation with him and help him make the right decision.
"To keep the best player of all time happy, you have to have a good team."
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