With or without Lionel Messi, Barcelona will look different next season. The club’s president, Joan Laporta, admits changes are coming.
“This is the end of a cycle. We are entering a process of renewal, “Laporta said at an event late Tuesday.
This season, Barcelona has one game left in the Spanish league, but he is no longer fighting for the title, which will be a disappointing end to a new difficult season for the Catalan club.
“We won the Copa del Rey title and we are proud of that, but we were eliminated very early in the Champions League and we lost the league in an incomprehensible way,” said Laporta.
“So it’s time to analyze the results, our game, and also our attitude, mentality and ambition.”
Barcelona could finish in fourth place in the Spanish league – a race that was a challenge just a few weeks ago, before wasting several chances to take the lead. In the Champions League, the team failed to advance to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, extending the European drought title to six years.
“We have been working for some time to find the elements we need to build a very competitive team and win the respective titles,” said Laporta.
“And next week we’ll start explaining what we’re going to do.”
Laporta have some major challenges, including convincing Messi to stay after he asked to leave at the end of last season. The Argentine’s contract expires this season and there is still no word on whether he will continue with the club. Laporte bases his presidential campaign on his ability to persuade Messi to stay.
Laporta will also have to get the club back on track after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Spanish media report that Laporta recently managed to get a deal of several hundred million dollars with Goldman Sachs, which will help the club to restructure its finances.
The lineup could start at the top with coach Ronald Koeman, who has been criticized for not taking advantage of the team’s chances at the end of the season. There is a lot of talk about former player Xavi Hernandez, who will take over his job for next season.
There are also rumors about the possible arrival of Memphis Depay to intensify the team’s attack, while the Spanish media speculate that Antoine Griezmann may leave after another gloomy season for the French striker.
According to some reports, he may participate in the trade with Atletico Madrid for the young star of Portugal Joao Felix.
Among the more veteran players on the team are Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets. The younger players who did well were Ansu Fati, Pedri Gonzalez, Sergio Dest and Usmane Dembele.
Laporta said the club’s women’s team should be seen as an example after winning its first Champions League title on Sunday with a 4-0 victory over Chelsea.
“Today, women’s football is the pride of all our fans,” said Laporta.
“In men’s football, we will have to go through a process of renewal because the cycle is over.”