President Laporta accepts Gerard Piqué's challenge

OPINION

@xortu

Gerard Piqué explained last February on Ibai Llanos' Twitch show, 'Charlando Tranquilamente,' that ex-president Josep Maria Bartomeu didn't show up much in the Barça first team dressing room.

Piqué himself said that he had personally suggested to Bartomeu that he should spend more time with the players: "Sometimes I would say to the president: 'Come to the dressing room!' And he wouldn't come".

Joan Laporta already showed at the end of last season that he was not afraid to go down to the dressing room. And in this new campaign, he has showed a willingness to address the players face-to-face.

The Barça president has made it clear that the squad need to win titles this season. While staying true to the club's identity, Laporta has tried to make the squad understand that they need to start winning titles and playing as a team. Although many senior players were missing, the message was loud and clear. Laporta has accepted the challenge and has went on record with his ambitions.

Many players have also received another message from the president, but instead of in the dressing room it has been in the offices and via their agents or representatives. This message is perhaps less motivating, with the president asking them to agree to a wage cut. The club needs to balance the books, and it is proving difficult to tie Leo Messi down to a new contract when their wage cap has plummeted due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These might seem like contradictory messages, but when you take them together, it may be a subtle way of asking certain players to entertain the offers that are currently on the table for them to leave the club.

Winning and making sacrifices for the club is not a bad maxim for the upcoming season. Perhaps there won't be many more players coming through the door, but if all the effort goes into securing Messi's renewal before 15 August, and all the players still at the club are committed to the cause and have the winning mentality that Laporta has demanded, perhaps they will soon be able to recover their salaries.

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