Vilanova, Bartomeu, Elías and Vidal-Abarca met Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

FC Barcelona are in Nicosia to play APOEL FC in the Champions League, and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu was welcomed to the Presidential Palace earlier today for a meeting with the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.

“We must thank President Nicos Anastasiades for welcoming us” said Bartomeu after the event. “It was a very cordial visit. We spoke about football because he’s a big fan, and he also told me that a member of his family belongs to the Barça supporters club in Cyprus. So he’s very close to Barça. He knows what’s happening to the team and even spoke about some of the players and signings. We were very pleased to be welcomed by him.”

The president was joined on the visit by directors Silvio Elías, Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Pau Vilanova, as well as director of football Raúl Sanllehí, the director in chief of supporters clubs Josep Maria Barnils, and the president of the local FCB supporters club, Yiannis Misirlis. Bartomeu added that “there is a large colony of Barça supporters in Cyprus. There’s a very big, active supporters club that travels around Europe supporting Barça. These people take a huge interest. They have a very close relationship with us. I am very grateful for this. We could say that Cyprus supports Barça”.

Aiming for the top

Before the traditional directors lunch, Josep Maria Bartomeu also commented on tonight’s game with APOEL. “We want to finish top of our group and win home advantage in the second round” he said. “That’s an important target. The team will be competitive and will go out to win the game playing good football.”

He was also asked about being jeered by the fans at the Camp Nou on Saturday. “Of course people always have the right to express their opinion” he conceded. “The video was to show how much we support and admire Leo.”

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