New Barca chief issues Messi plea


Newly-appointed FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has issued a plea to star man Lionel Messi.

Laporta was officially sworn in as Barcelona's president on Wednesday in a ceremony that saw him take the reigns at the club for a second spell following his previous stint in the role between 2003 and 2010.

The 58-year-old used the platform to issue a plea to star forward Messi, who was in attendance, requesting the soon-to-be out-of-contract star not to leave Barcelona but to instead stay and help the club return to its former glory.

Scroll through the gallery below to see where Messi ranks among Barcelona's most-capped players of all time

"In our first spell we had the best players in Barca history, but if we were successful it was because we had stability," Laporta said, per Goal.

"It is Barcelona's unity which gives you stability and I invite everyone at Barcelona to think about what they can do for Barca.  I am here to make decisions, like convincing Leo to carry on, taking advantage of the fact that he is here. He knows that. 

"You know the affection I hold for you and we will do whatever it takes to keep you here. You know you cannot leave, Leo. We will not be able to do it alone. As our anthem says, we are strong all together. More so in these most difficult times. We know how to do it. 

"When the pandemic is over our revenue will return. That will be fixed. There will be strong leadership because I am well-accompanied. We will make decisions. To defend the club you have to live and breathe it and we do that as much as possible."

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