FC Barcelona election results: Joan Laporta returns to Camp Nou as Barca president

Joan Laporta is returning to FC Barcelona as the club’s top executive. Laporta, the club’s former president, won Barcelona’s presidential election on Sunday and will return to the post he served from 2003-2010. The team is hoping to usher in a new era, with his top goals being to keep Lionel Messi, rebuild a team that has not contended on the European stage in recent reasons and improve the club’s financial issues. 

His long-term goal will be to repeat the successful spell during his first time in charge, setting a record for new trophies won in a year with six back in 2009, with legendary players like Messi and Ronaldinho leading the way. 

Laporta, a 58-year-old Barcelona native and lawyer, beat out Victor Font and Toni Freixa to win the job. He’s expected to pursue Barca legend Xavi as manager, if the club moves on from Ronald Koeman.

The other candidates conceded the race to Laporta. 

“I want to congratulate Laporta for this victory, which does not allow for any discussion,” Freixa said. “We must now support our president. Such a high turnout legitimizes his win.”

As of 10:44 p.m. Barcelona time, 80 percent of the votes had been counted, with Laporta getting 57.91 percent. Font had 30.97, and Freixa had 9.92.

This development was expected as Laporta was long viewed as the favorite, and it comes at an interesting time at the club. The club’s former president, Josep Bartomeu, was arrested last week after a raid at the Camp Nou as part of a search and seize task linked with an investigation into the club’s officials. They allegedly conducted a smear campaign using fake social media accounts to undermine opponents when views went against the club, Messi and others. Bartomeu and his board of directions resigned last year. 

Barca are currently in second place in La Liga and have advanced to the Copa del Rey final but are on the verge of elimination from the Champions League, aiming to overturn a 4-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday on Paramount+.

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