Laporta backing for Martino
Thu, 25 Jul 2013 16:58:00
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has backed the appointment of new coach Gerardo Martino but reiterated his opposition to the club's current president, Sandro Rosell.
Martino will be unveiled officially at the Nou Camp on Friday before giving his first press conference as Barca coach.
Laporta, who was responsible for hiring Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola during his seven years at the club, believes the appointment of the Argentinean is a sign Barca want to continue with their current philosophy of attacking football, pioneered by Johan Cruyff, reclaimed by Rijkaard and then perfected by Guardiola.
"Martino has joined a club that has a genuine style of football that has proved to give results, and it makes sense for him to adapt to that," Laporta told reporters.
"The best Barcelona side of all time has been built on that style, a side that is admired around the world, and it would be a mistake to break with that.
"Martino will come to Barca with the intention of doing a good job, and it's a big challenge for him. He has said he is a fan of Guardiola and that shows he is intelligent and knows that this is a system that works.
"I was pleasantly surprised that he said he is the one that needs to adapt to the team, not the other way round. I wholeheartedly support Martino."
In his first press conference since he was confirmed as the new Barca coach, Martino said he was certain that Lionel Messi and his father Jorge influenced the club's appointment.
Messi later denied any involvement in the process, insisting: "I had nothing to do with Martino's signing. It was down to President Rosell and the club. I said before that I thought he was a good coach, but I don't have anything to do with this."
Laporta, however, sees no problem in Messi's admiration for the new coach.
"If that has made Leo happy, then I welcome it, I can't see why it's a bad thing," he said,
"If Martino has a good relationship with the best player in the world and of all time, the man who is the leader of this Barca team and is a decisive player, then that's great. It's one of the virtues of the decision."
Laporta's second term as Barca president ended in June 2010, when he was succeeded by former ally Rosell.
The former president has made no secret of his ill-feeling towards his successor and last month declared his intention to stand against him in the club's elections in 2016.
He did not pass up another opportunity to criticise him, and called the incumbent president "a man with a complex, little dignity and no regard for democracy."