Former Barcelona president Laporta to contest again

Barcelona, June 17 (IANS) Former president of Spanish football club Barcelona Joan Laporta has announced he would again run for the post at the July 18 elections.

Laporta was president between 2003 and 2010 and his mandate coincided with the signing of players such as Ronaldinho and the arrival in the first team of Lionel Messi, reports Xinhua.

It was Laporta who showed faith in Pep Guardiola as first team coach in 2008 and was rewarded when Guardiola coached perhaps the best club team Spain has ever seen.

His seven years in-charge of the club led to the conquest of four La Liga titles, one King’s Cup, three Spanish Supercups, two Champions League titles as well as one European Supercup and the World Club Championship before internal divisions and a mounting debt led to the end of his time in office.

“As you know I am standing for the elections at Barcelona and I am doing so in order for Barcelona to once again to belong to everyone,” said Laporta on Tuesday, declaring his intentions in which he said he was “more prepared than ever” to lead the club.

“I have more experience. I have my defects, as you know, but I have the same principles.”

There are now four candidates for the post although all polls point to it being a two-horse race between Laporta and Josep Maria Bartomeu, who stepped down as president a week ago in order to call the election.

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