The BBC published a report about FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu back in February shortly before the games with Valencia and Real Madrid at Camp Nou. In it, he told the prestigious British media corporation about the way that “when we say at Barça that we are ‘More than a Club’, these are not empty words but something very real. Our 145,000 members are the owners of the club and that makes us very different to the others.”
He also explains the way the club functions, with its twenty directors, each with different responsibilities. “Our job is not just to represent the club wherever we go” he says. “We also try to help football people through our Foundation and our members too.”
He also speaks about the club’s 335 million followers on social networks, its presence in all five continents and its support for the internationalisation of La Liga to take the team to its fans. “It’s a matter of respect for them” he explains. “We like to get close to our supporters and that’s also why we go on summer tours around the world.”
On the team's success in recent years, Bartomeu believes that Ronaldinho’s arrival in 2003 “brought a smile and joy to the club”, which led the club towards excellence under Josep Guardiola as coach and with a player like Lionel Messi, who he claims to be the best of all time.
But what will happen when Messi is gone? “We hope that won’t happen for many more years” insists Bartomeu. “But we are preparing ourselves for it. That’s why we are signing new and talented young players like Dembélé, Coutinho and De Jong.”