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Josep Maria Bartomeu talks to the BBC. / Miguel Ruiz - FCB

FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told the BBC that FC Barcelona’s greatest rival is not any one club but rather the English Premier League, while being unequivocal in explaining that Barça will have to " increase our revenues and our financial situation to make the talent of our teams stay with us."

"I've always said the Premier is the best football competition in the world and is FC Barcelona‘s true rival. And the Champions League is the competition that matters most to fans worldwide."

The interview, which was broadcast by the BBC throughout the world on television, radio and online,  is expected to reach several hundred million users, according to the BBC’s own estimates.

Bartomeu delved into various issues, including how difficult it is to compete with the Premier League, FC Barcelona’s historic admiration for Arsenal, and Barça’s goal of surpassing one billion Euros in revenues in the next five years as a fundamental and strategic attempt to keep the

Club at the top of world football.

Bartomeu rejected the possibility that the Champions League is an easy competition for FC Barcelona.

"The best teams compete in it," he said, and while praising Arsenal, Tuesday’s rival in the tournament. "We have always admired them and followed them closely ... We’ve exchanged players with Arsenal and we have a similar way of approaching football."

Bartomeu believes Barça should always have top players, and commended the contribution made to the team by the trident

"We are very happy because we have the best players in the world. Messi is with us, Neymar is an incredible player of the future, but Suárez brought the balance to them. Together, this trident is incredible,” he said.  

He also is confident they’ll stick around.

"None of our players said they want to leave," he said. "Most get better economical offers, but our players are not in Barcelona for the money... they are there because of the football and the fans' commitment."

Check out the full interview, here.


Bartomeu visits BBC by fcbarcelona
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