SportsJoan Laporta: The visionary reshaping FC Barcelona's future

Joan Laporta: The visionary reshaping FC Barcelona's future

The scandalist who brought Lewandowski. Now he celebrates
The scandalist who brought Lewandowski. Now he celebrates
Images source: © Getty Images | NurPhoto
Jakub Artych

29 June 2024 10:19

Joan Laporta is an extraordinary figure in the world of football. The president of FC Barcelona is trying to bring the Pride of Catalonia to the top of Europe. During his tenure, Robert Lewandowski joined the club and was repaid with the Spanish championship. On Saturday, Laporta turned 62 years old.

The year 2003. Barcelona was far from a powerhouse in Spain. The team only finished in sixth place, trailing behind Celta Vigo, Deportivo, and most notably Real Madrid. In February, President Joan Gaspart resigned after two and a half years in office due to the team’s disastrous performance and announced early elections in Barcelona.

One candidate was Joan Laporta. He acted with even more grandeur than he does now, and one of his promises was to bring David Beckham. At the time, Beckham was the biggest star in the Premier League. He even travelled to England to negotiate his transfer.

A few weeks passed, and Beckham made it to Spain, but to Real Madrid. There, he played 116 matches for Los Blancos over four years.

Laporta is known for his unconventional methods of working. He managed with a firm hand in the past and wasn’t afraid of making controversial decisions. Beckham was just an unrealised dream, but during Laporta’s tenure, the famous Ronaldinho joined Camp Nou and left a golden legacy in Catalonia.

At that time, Laporta won over the fans. He came up with the idea of Pep Guardiola as Barca's first-team coach, a bull' s-eye decision that revolutionised the club on many levels. He won the Champions League and then left in 2010, but the fans knew they could rely on him.

A new era in Barcelona

Since 2021, Laporta has been at the helm in the capital of Catalonia again. The club was practically at rock bottom, with huge debts, more problems "falling out" of the closet, and, most importantly, a lack of faith from the fans.

Laporta brought a lot of enthusiasm to the club. A few years ago, he stirred up a great deal of commotion in the capital of Spain itself. He placed a huge banner on a building about 100 metres from Real Madrid's stadium. "I can’t wait to see you all again" – read the massive advertisement.

Laporta got rid of Leo Messi, but during his tenure, Robert Lewandowski joined the club and significantly contributed to FC Barcelona's Spanish championship.

Laporta turned 62 on Saturday, June 29. However, he is so vigorous that he has many more years ahead of him in Spanish football.

Related content