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Speaking at today’s official presentation of Emerson Royal, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta said “I thank the player’s family and representatives and my colleagues from the board for being here for this presentation. Royal will help us to build our sports programme, one that we want to be a success."
"I think back at all the great Brazilian right backs that we have had over the years, like Belletti and Dani Alves, and who have been such an inspiration for Royal. We hope to see you dressed for many years in blaugrana. You will enjoy being part of this global Barça that represents us worldwide. As well as demonstrating your amazing talent, we want you to have fun.”
But the president touched on a number of other subjects too. As expected, Leo Messi’s name was one of those that came up.
“We are in the process of getting Messi to stay. He wants to stay at Barça and we have to make sure that happens” he said. “We all want Messi in La Liga because he is a world class player, the best in the world, and he clearly helps to promote the league. I know Leo wants to stay and appreciate that highly. Everything is very much on the right track.”
"We have hit some major obstacles, but we have time to make things possible. I’m optimistic because everything has gone so very well. With the new signings and the youth players we are putting together a competitive squad. We’re bringing in talent to make the squad more competitive. The preseason has been highly promising, but there is still a chance we might add something else.”
"We just hope that financial fair play can be extended so we can add some other signings. All of the players that we have signed can be registered. We want greater flexibility from La Liga so there can be more financial fair play and the chance to sign some more players.”
“If Ilaix doesn’t want to renew his contract, he has other options. We don’t want players that have grown up here and don’t want to renew their contracts. We’re sorry, but the club comes before anything else and we can’t have this kind of thing happening. I want them to think again because we want to reach an agreement. We don’t want this kind of thing to happen again."
"He has a year left on his contract and he doesn’t want to accept the club’s terms. We won’t accept that either and we have to send a message out to the youth players. If he doesn’t want to renew then he has other solutions. But we can’t have players that grew up here that don’t want to renew. We have given the player opportunities, but the club comes first. We can’t be promoting players and then having them leave without Barça getting any benefit. We won’t accept that from any player.”
"Everyone is happy with Griezmann. He’s a true professional. He has a contract with Barça and we have to respect that”
The season ahead
“The team is in high spirits. They are looking forward to the season. The manager is happy and motivated because the squad is nicely balanced. Royal will bring something new. There’s a good vibe and all the players have told me how much they are hoping to win things and how the club comes before their own interests. I really like the attitude of the veterans and the advice they are giving to the younger players. And I like the intensity in the way they are playing.”
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