If Mateu Alemany was so good... how did Barca let him go?

If Mateu Alemany was so good... how did Barca let him go?

Toni Frieros
| sport

The FC Barcelona board of directors has placed all their eggs, all of them, in the same basket: the first team, with the commendable objective of building a competitive and championship-winning squad. The efforts to achieve this have gone beyond logic, in what may be seen as an act of bravery or irrationality. In order to make signings, club assets that have been in place for generations have been sold. And when they could, they have splashed the cash: Ferran, Lewandowski, Raphinha, Koundé... The philosophy is crystal clear: if the first team performs, the club is doing well. And if the ball goes into the net, everything else matters little... or not at all.

It is commendable that, with the financial fair play restrictions, Barcelona has been able to sign magnificent players for free or on loan: Eric García, Christensen, Marcos Alonso, Kessie, Gundogan, Iñigo Martínez, Cancelo... (Joao Félix is another story). Managing this required in-depth knowledge of the market, contacts, and perseverance. And here is where we need to get serious and reflect deeply because we might discover why this club operates the way it does. The true architects and designers of this sports policy were undoubtedly Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff. Yet neither of them is at Barcelona anymore. Nor is Ramón Planes.

Xavi's exact words: "Mateu's work has been extraordinary, you can't understand today's Barcelona without him or Jordi (Cruyff)." So, why have neither of them stayed at the club? If Barcelona has gone from strength to strength in sports over the past few years, winning La Liga and the Supercopa, and building an increasingly better and more competitive squad, why have these two key figures in the project left? Why do the good ones leave?

No, it makes no sense and no justification. Xavi is not to blame because he made it very clear that it was a "club decision." Clearly, if it had been up to him, neither Jordi nor Mateu would have left the club. This decision only follows a maxim that had been simmering for a long time: to bring in Deco at all costs. However, it wasn't enough. Simply replacing Jordi Cruyff with Deco would have sufficed. Yes, because Deco can never perform the role of Mateu Alemany. Does Deco have Mateu's experience in economic and management matters, having been the CEO and president of various football clubs?

In other words, Deco and Mateu Alemany could have complemented each other, just as Mateu and Jordi did... but FC Barcelona, meaning President Joan Laporta and his closest collaborators, some in official roles and others in the shadows, wanted to give all the power to Deco. And Mateu, of course, didn't agree with that, as had happened with other executives and directors at the club.

In fact, something delightful and unusual happened. It was Mateu Alemany who negotiated with Deco for the signing of Raphinha and the commission he should receive for it. That means a football agent, who had never worked as a football director, has replaced the man who, with his mistakes (De Jong and Dembélé, among others) and successes, worked miracles to create a great squad with limited financial resources.

Deco was the missing piece (he was always hovering around) for Joan Laporta to sealhis inner circle. Now he has them all. Like "Juan Palomo"...

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