Joan Laporta was sworn in as the new Barcelona president on Wednesday evening and the new boss’ message to Lionel Messi was the main headline from his introductory speech.
Messi was in attendance for the ceremony, along with various other players and Blaugrana figures, and Laporta turned to address Messi at one point.
“We will, for example, try to convince Leo to stay at the club,” Laporta said during the speech, at which point applause broke out in the room.
“Sorry Leo… I will do my best and he knows it!
“We’re going to try, of course, to convince him to stay here because he’s the best player in history.
“Sorry, but I love you and Barcelona also loves you.
“If this stadium were full, you wouldn’t want to go.”
The other key comments from Laporta’s speech
Laporta also addressed a number of other topics, starting by reflecting on the electoral process.
“Only God knows what it took to get here,” he said.
“I thank the interim board for these elections, which were exemplary. I thank all the members who took part and especially those who backed our proposal.
“Now we need to do things well. We’ll do what we can so you can be proud of Barcelona again.”
For Laporta, sorting out the club’s financial situation is key.
“The economic situation is a priority for us,” he said.
“We need to make the club sustainable. We have a plan for this. We will take decisions in Barcelona‘s best interests.
“Stability is key and we can improve all the sections to make them more competitive. But, we must maintain stability.”
The new president also discussed Ronald Koeman‘s position as first-team coach and backed the Dutchman.
“Ronald, you have our confidence,” he said, addressing the coach.
“We want to get back to making history in the Champions League, but this year we need to go out and try to win the league title and the Copa del Rey.”