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Josep Maria Bartomeu, during the interview with MBC's Mustafa Agha / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

In a meeting with broadcaster MBC in the framework of the 10th International Sports Conference in Dubai, the president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, stressed that the candidates for the presidency of FIFA should think about the football clubs: "We want to talk about football, just football."

When asked what he could do to improve FC Barcelona, Bartomeu replied: "There are many things to do, we have plenty of other sports, the Foundation, children's projects, maintaining our level of excellence...It is difficult to continue in this position, we have to improve the Club so we don't disappoint our members and supporters," he said.

In a television interview for the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Bartomeu was frank. "We have won many titles and that is very positive for our members and fans, which own the Club, but we also had lots of years when we weren't so successful...Now, with Messi, we are very happy, but we have to continue working energetically and making brave decisions while using common sense."

Prior to this interview, Bartomeu had been the centre of interest for local and international media, and he took the opportunity to highlight the importance of Messi to FC Barcelona: "For me, he is not only the best player in the world but in the history of football."

About the club’s relationship with Qatar Airways, Bartomeu declared: “We have a good relationship based on trust and they have helped us a lot as our sponsors. We are on top of the footballing world, partly thanks to their help and co-operation. We want this to continue because we want to keep growing."

The president of FC Barcelona praised the decision to sign Neymar Jr and reiterated that the club handled the operation of his signing well.

Bartomeu also told the channel that “common sense has guided the philosophy of the club right from the start. All decisions are taken with sport in mind. People pass the ball but the ball remains at the centre. Sport is the centre. We try to show the best version of ourselves to the fans, and our objective is to play well”.

As was the case last summer during the US tour and recently during the Club World Cup in Japan, the presence of the first team arouses huge media coverage. "This is the example that we want to follow, we cannot disappoint our fans."

The channel belongs to leading media group in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the MBC Group. It is a conglomerate that was founded in London in 1991 and moved to Dubai in 2002. The group has several channels of information which reaches a vast global audience.

Shortly after the interview with MBC, Bartomeu had a meeting with Gulf News, one of the most prominent newspapers in the Middle East.


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