"I think Bartomeu will finally achieve Messi's departure from Barcelona"

SPORT EXCLUSIVE

Benedito backed Koeman and predicted Messi will leave the club

Agustí Benedito volverá a pelear por la presidencia del FC Barcelona
Agustí Benedito volverá a pelear por la presidencia del FC Barcelona | Valentí Enrich

Agustí Benedito has spoken to SPORT about a range of issues associated with Barcelona as he prepares to stand in March's presidential elections. 

In 2010, Benedito was the big surprise, finishing second with 8.044 votes. In 2015, 3,400 members voted for him. 

Here's what he had to say on three big issues: 

Koeman

"If I won the elections in 2015, he would have been our manager. I went to see him in London when he was at Southampton and signed a pre-agreement. If I win this time, Koeman will still be the Barcelona coach. He's a club legend and an experienced coach with great character. He has the advantage of being a disciple of Cruyff and could open a glorious era at Barça, as Johan did in the 90s." 

Xavi: 

"(Long silence) Look, I think he's been the most important player in Barça's history after Messi. I admire him a lot. He's spent five years in Qatar now and I honestly think before he takes charge he should do what other legends did: Luis Enrique and Guardiola. That's to say coach the B team or join Koeman's staff." 

Messi: 

"(Another long silence) Unfortunately, I think Bartomeu will finally achieve Messi's departure from Barcelona. It would be the latest error on a long list and the most tragic of the Bartomeu-Rosell era, which has been a nightmare for the history of our club. If Messi was out of contract this summer, I am sure he would leave. Since Neymar left, Messi's not been as happy." 

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