How ex-Barca president helped Downs

Premiership

It has been revealed how a former FC Barcelona president played a major role in a Spanish legend recently joining the Mamelodi Sundowns structures.

Sundowns made a surprise move in September last year when they appointed José Ramón Alexanko as club director of youth and scouting – a position that had not existed before.

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Alexanko, a former Barcelona defender in his heyday, has since spent a little under eight months at Chloorkop and has opened up on how his appointment materialised.

Celebrating his birthday today, the 63-year-old former Academy Director at Blaugrana revealed that ex-Barca president Joan Laporta – perhaps best remembered for kickstarting Pep Guardiola’s coaching career in 2008 – played a significant role in his emigration to South Africa.

“I had heard great things about the club and the President [Motsepe],” revealed Alexanko on Sundowns’ official website.

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“The President and I share a friend in Joan Laporta [Barcelona president from 2003-2010], who has nothing but positive things to say about the club, so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance.”

Having worked at the Catalan club’s academy during the emergence of Lionel Messi, Alexanko has also shed light on the Argentine superstar’s move from Rosario to Barcelona.

“From the moment we saw Leo play you knew he was going to be special, and we did everything to bring him to the club,” he added.

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