PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

Blaugrana for ever. Juan Carlos Navarro, who on Friday will mark 14 years since his debut with the first team, will be a Blaugrana for ever: "this is a renewal for the rest of his life" explained the Club President, who left the door open for Navarro to stay on after he retires. "I've not given it too much though right now, but when it comes time for me to retire, there will be no problem staying with Barça," confirmed Navarro.

"I would never have imagined that I would be able to retire here," explained the Barça Regal captain, referring to his long history at the Club: "I'm happy to be a member of this family and to be captain of this team. Barça is my family and my home. Barça have given me everything. I am keen to help the team and win more titles. I want to stay here until the end". The Barça number 11 is already a part of the team's history and his shirt will also become another piece of that, with Sandro Rosell promising that the player's shirt will be hung in the Palau once he retires. The President was speaking at the press conference to announce Navarro's contract extension and spoke in the presence of four other players who have been so honoured - Epi, Jiménez, Solozabal and Dueñas.

Hungry for more titles

The 31-year-old Navarro is still full of ambition: "I'm enjoying the best moment of my career and I want to keep improving and winning titles", he explained. As well as his four famous predecessors, the press conference was also attended by many of the section's players, coach Xavi Pascual, board member Joan Bladé and a number of other figures connected with the team. It was that connection with the Club that Sandro Rosell highlighted: "he represents exactly what we want from our players: they start here, stay here and retire here".

Economic sacrifice

The President also explained that Navarro had made an economic sacrifice to stay at the Club and represented the three qualities he demanded from the players at the Club –hard work, happiness and loyalty.

Technical Secretary Joan Creus explained that Navarro, who still has a year and a half to run on his contract, has signed an extension until 2015: "after that, we have made an agreement, based on the respect we have in each other and his commitment to the Club, that we will extend his contract if we need to".

Gasol brothers, Ricky Rubio and the lockout

During the presentation of the agreement, Sandro Rosell was asked about the chances of  Pau and Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio playing with Barça again if the NBA lockout puts an end to the North American season: “we can’t speculate about that. We just don’t know. If and when it happens, we will consider it. The three of them are our boys. We don’t have the financial muscle to match their NBA salaries, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t come up with an imaginative solution – a sponsor maybe.”