FC Barcelona

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Joan Laporta elected as new president of FC Barcelona
Joan Laporta
Joan Laporta Credit: RODIXETA

Joan Laporta, who was president from 2003 to 2010, was elected FC Barcelona's President with an absolute majority of 54.28% of the votes. Laporta will serve a six-year term upon taking the reins again.

"We experienced the same thing in 2003. We were losing, had a huge debt and were having to pay too many expenses and income was lower than revenue. The situation today is very similar and my formula to get out of it is very simple. We need to control expenses, restructure the debt and work to generate new sources of income," Laporta told the BBC prior to the election.

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Barçagate: Former FC Barcelona president arrested in Camp Nou office
Josep Maria Bartomeu
Josep Maria Bartomeu Credit: pscbarcelona (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Four people were arrested on Monday morning for 'Barçagate' so far, including the club's former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, former board member Jaume Masferrer, Barça's current CEO Òscar Grau and the head of legal services, Román Gómez-Ponti.

In February 2020, Spanish broadcaster Cadena Ser revealed a scheme in which then-president Bartomeu hired the company I3Ventures, which specialises in mass dissemination of offences and misinformation on social media.

Next Sunday, on March 7, FC Barcelona will hold an election to designate the new president for the coming six years, with three candidates: former president Joan Laporta, Víctor Font and Toni Freixa.

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Messi contract leaked: Four seasons and 555 million euros
Lionel Messi in a 2014 game
Lionel Messi in a 2014 game Credit: Lluís (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

This Sunday's edition of the newspaper El Mundo exclusively unveils Leo Messi's contract with FC Barcelona. The contract dates to 2017, covering four seasons for a total of 555 million euros and it is "the sum of a fixed salary, image rights, a series of multi-million euro bonuses unheard of to date, allowances and a string of variables depending on various objectives".

According to the newspaper, Messi has already secured 92% of the contract, despite the team's setbacks in the Champions League's recent seasons, the competition that has the highest bonuses.

Barcelona denied "any responsibility for the publication of this document".

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UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw puts Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA Champions League 2020-21 round of 16
UEFA Champions League 2020-21 round of 16 Credit: UEFA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

After a draw made on Monday, UEFA Champions League round of 16 ties are:

  • Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER) vs Manchester City (ENG)
  • Lazio (ITA) vs Bayern (GER)
  • Atlético (ESP) vs Chelsea (ENG)
  • Leipzig (GER) vs Liverpool (ENG)
  • Porto (POR) vs Juventus (ITA)
  • Barcelona (ESP) vs Paris (FRA)
  • Sevilla (ESP) vs Borussia Dortmund (GER)
  • Atalanta (ITA) vs Real Madrid (ESP)

The first legs are scheduled for 16/17 and 23/24 February, with the second legs on 9/10 and 16/17 March.

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Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Credit: pscbarcelona (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned. The bureaucracy and the open war with Messi, the bad sports results and the economic situation of the club left Bartomeu on the wire. Still, it has finally been the motion of censure, with more than 16,000 signatures, that has precipitated the resignation of the president.

Bartolomeu resignation comes three days after Barca's 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid, and just a day after he said: "that it had not occurred to him to resign."

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Lionel Messi stays with FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi stays with FC Barcelona
Credit: Via Twitter

The sports journalist and insider Fabrizio Romano has announced that Lionel Messi will stay with the FC Barcelona for the 2021 season as he did not want to get "into a legal dispute".

Following a quote of Messi that he published he soccer player stated that "the management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster".

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LaLiga says it will not terminate Messi if he does not pay the termination clause
LaLiga says it will not terminate Messi if he does not pay the termination clause
Credit: Lluís (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

LaLiga has stated that Lionel Messi will not be released of his contract with the FC Barcelona without paying €700 million as defined in his contract clause.

Messi has stated that he considers his contract the be expired and did not show up for the mandatory Covid-19 test of the FC Barcelona.

According to LaLiga "the contract is currently in force and has a 'termination clause' applicable in the event that Lionel Andrés Messi decides to request the unilateral early termination of the contract, carried out in accordance with article 16 of Royal Decree 1006/1985, of June 26, 1985, which regulates the special labour relationship of professional sportsmen and women".

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Lionel Messi tells Barcelona he wants to leave
Lionel Messi display at FC Barcelona's museum
Lionel Messi display at FC Barcelona's museum Credit: Andy Parsons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Lionel Messi informed Barcelona his desire to leave the club after nearly two decades. The club confirmed to multiple outlets they received a document via burofax, a service used in Spain to urgently dispatch a document that requires proof to third parties.

Messi used a a clause in the contract that should oblige Barcelona to let him leave for free, but the divorce between Barcelona and their biggest idol could turn into a legal battle as the club stated it won’t automatically grant the Argentinean great his wishes as the club believes that the particular clause expired at the start of the summer.

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Bayer Munich humiliates Barcelona and sails to the Champions League semi-finals
Robert Lewandovski scores for Bayern Munich
Robert Lewandovski scores for Bayern Munich Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Playing at the Estádio da Luz, in Lisbon, Bayern Munich crushed Barcelona, won 8:2 and qualified to the Champions League semi-finals.

The German side scored with Thomas Muller (twice), Philippe Coutinho (twice), Ivan Perisic, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Robert Lewandowski. Bayern became the first team to score eight goals in a Champions League knockout match.

Bayern will face Manchester City or Lyon in the semi-finals on August 19 at 19:00 UTC.

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Barcelona to face Bayern on the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals
Robert Lewandovski
Robert Lewandovski Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Barcelona and Bayern advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals. Both clubs head to Lisbon to play each other on August 14 at the Estádio da Luz.

Playing at the Camp Nou, Barcelona qualified with a 3:1 win over Napoli, goals by Lenglet, Messi and Luis Suárez. Lorenzo Insigne scored for Napoli.

In Munich, Bayern confirmed their favouritism by beating Chelsea 4:1. Robert Lewandowski scored twice and created goals for Perisic and Tolisso.

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Real Madrid wins LaLiga
Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane Credit: Real Madrid (Twitter Reproduction)

After a 2:0 victory against Villareal, Real Madrid confirmed its 34th Spanish title at an empty Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.

Since LaLiga resumed, after the Covid-19 break, Real has won all 10 of its games to open up a seven-point lead over second-place Barcelona.