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FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu used his speech at the 40th Penyes World Congress to look back at last season and also comment on the new signings, while also thanking the Barça supporters club movement “for your dedication and commitment to the club on occasion of this 40th World Congress and the centenary of the first recognition of a supporters club by the directors.”
“Last season we won the eighth league title in ten years. Now we face new challenges that will test our self-demand and ambition. That’s why we have further strengthened this extraordinary squad led by Leo Messi. We have a stronger squad, with greater potential, and we might be announcing a new sighing this very day.”
Then the new players came out to be introduced to the congress, Junior Firpo among them.
“Having reached this point” continued the president, “we really do need to appreciate what these titles mean, despite the disappointment we might suffer at times due to unexpected defeats.”
Changes to youth football
Bartomeu went on to say that “La Masia remains at the core of our strategic plan. Over the last few days we have made a series of changes to improve things, and want to thank Pep Segura for everything that he has done, running the whole football area in recent years, and also to welcome Patrick Kluivert, who will be in charge of our youth system from now on.”
“If we have managed to keep this successful era going it is because we have always worked with an eye to the future. We always work in the long term and regularly incorporate new talent and youth. Players have left in recent years, but as we have seen this preseason, there are always new ones knocking on the first team door.”
Record professional titles
On other sports at the club, Bartomeu stressed that “the 19 trophies we won last season matched the club’s all-time record. But we want more. That is why we have strengthened our team with top quality stars.”
The president particularly highlighted the high-profile additions to the basketball rosters and the wonderful season for the women’s football team.
The president ended by saying that “next August 27 we will be opening the Johan Cruyff Stadium, the first part of the Espai Barça and the place where the future stars of our men’s and women’s teams will be developed. Once the stadium becomes operative in the next few weeks, we will begin demolishing the Miniestadi. There is no going back with this project now, and the process will end with a completely new-look Camp Nou in 2024.”
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