Interview: President Bartomeu talks with RMC
Josep Bartomeu was a guest of Luis Attaque on Wednesday evening and did answer numerous questions about the Club, the current situation and more.
FC Barcelona’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu gave an interview to the French radio stadium RMC in which he spoke about various issues regarding the club.
How do you feel after this season? You must be a happy president.
I’m always happy, even more so after these two titles, we suffered until the end and it makes them even better. We fulfilled most of the objectives we had this season and now we have to prepare the next season.
But no Champions League this season?
It’s true we would have liked to win it, but it’s a very difficult competition, maybe we lacked some luck. We are very happy about the two trophies, added to the European Supercup and the Club World Cup. Four titles make us proud and happy.
Which team will you support in the CL final?
I will support Atlético, they deserve to win it because they have never won it, they lost it in the last minutes two years ago. It is going to be a good game, it is a good thing that there are two Spanish teams, it shows the quality of La Liga, and there’s also Sevilla who won EL. Atlético eliminated us, we know their quality.
Are you interested in Ben Arfa?
No, the season just ended. I know our staff works hard to plan the next season, I don’t know the players they want, we will buy some players and some will come from Barça B. Even if I knew, I couldn’t give you any name. There will also be players who leave, just like any summer transfer window.
Do you know him?
No, we follow French League as we do with other leagues, but I won’t give any name.
How do you work to decide which players you will buy? It might be difficult in such a big structure in a club like Barça?
Yes, it is difficult because of the structure/organization chart, but the most important are the two people who work during the season (Robert Fernandez and Urbano Ortega) and watch players who are available (or not). They meet with the coaching staff and decide what the team lacks. When April comes, club’s administration really starts to get involved and look at exit clauses, wages. I would say a team of 6-7 people is involved, but Luis Enrique always has the last word. We always try to have everybody’s agreement on a player, previous experiences showed us that when someone’s agreement is missing, we can be disappointed by the player.
You said Barça will recruit, do you think the team needs it?
Yes, people often tend to think the team doesn’t need changes, but every summer something changes. And I think supporters want new names, it’s part of the dream people need.
Are there players who want to leave? English clubs and PSG have money to recruit, aren’t you afraid of their power concerning MSN players for instance?
It is impossible for these players to leave, all our players are very happy in the club, they love to live in Barcelona, and moreover they win titles which is crucial for them. No player told us he wants to leave. They went on summer vacations yesterday and are coming back in July for the new season.
Do you know Messi bought a Parisian apartment recently?
No, I didn’t know about that. Paris is a beautiful city, Messi loves this city and if he will go there on vacation, it’s a good thing (laughs).
So, will Messi retire in Barcelona?
He has a contract and Messi already said many times FC Barcelona will be his last European club. I’m very happy about him, he always gets better. Two years ago, people were saying he had done it all and he keeps getting better. Just in the last game on Sunday he was incredible, with especially great passes.
You seem quite certain about him, what about players like Suarez or Neymar?
I read a lot of things in the media, a lot of clubs in the world would like to have them. We are very proud that players as Neymar, Suarez, Busquets, Iniesta, Pique, Ter Stegen are all very happy and want to stay. They went on vacation and will come back in some weeks. We are very relaxed about this.
A question about Jeremy Mathieu, are you happy with him?
Yes, he had some very good performances, last one was on Sunday against Sevilla, a game in which he was very good, he will be a very important player for France team during the Euro.
Isn’t it very difficult to remain calm in such a big club?
Honestly, inside the club there is no serenity, there is hard work and dedication, we always have something to worry about and to work on. Every big club is like that. In the end we have to be calm in our communication, we are owned by 145 000 socis, these members need to be reassured. We have to be transparent as we did with the Nike contract a few days ago.
Last question, what do you think about Zidane becoming Real Madrid coach? Do you think he can stay there and have a great career?
I have a huge respect for Zidane as a player, he is beginning to get this respect from people as a coach too.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.
WRITTEN BY: Jérémy Veron
Jéremy is a die hard Barcelona fan and currently studies business in France.