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Joan Laporta returns as Barcelona president, vows to persuade Lionel Messi to stay

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Joan Laporta has been elected as Barcelona president for the second term after a landslide victory.

The 58-year-old Spanish politician won on Sunday, 7 March, and is expected to be at the helms of the affairs of the club until 2026.

Laporta won the election with 54.28 percent of the votes cast, defeating Victor Font, who came second with just over 30 percent while Toni Freixa finished third with nine percent.

Laporta was last president at Barcelona between 2003 and 2010, which is dubbed one of the club’s most successful periods wherein it won 12 trophies including a famous treble under Pep Guardiola, with Lionel Messi as talisman.

When he left seven years later, Barcelona became a globalised brand and was a hot destination for the best players in the world.

Barca’s newly elected president’s first major obstacle now is to ensure that Messi stays at the club.

The Argentine’s future is one of the big topics in Laporta’s speech given shortly after he won the election.

“First of all I want to thank everyone who has participated in these elections, which have been the most important in our history due to the pandemic, which has changed our lives,” Laporte told Munro deportivo

“I want to give a special thanks to Johan Cruyff, who surely has helped us. He inspires us with all the decisions we have to make, this candidacy It is a Cruyffista and Barcelonista candidacy.

“The fact that the best player in the world came to vote today, along with his son, is proof that Leo Messi loves Barça. Messi wants Barça, the best player in the world wants Barça and that is very significant. We are going to encourage him to continue at FC Barcelona, which is what we all want.

“This great family that is FC Barcelona will overcome these difficulties and we will achieve the objectives that we have set for ourselves. I would ask all Barça fans not to think about what Barça will do for you, think about what you can do for Barça,” he concluded.

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