Barcelona presidential candidate aiming to bring Pep Guardiola back to Nou Camp

Victor Font believes manager’s return is key to keeping Lionel Messi at Spanish club

Barcelona’s head coach Pep Guardiola with  Lionel Messi in 2011. Photograph: EPA

Barcelona’s head coach Pep Guardiola with Lionel Messi in 2011. Photograph: EPA

 

Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font wants to bring Pep Guardiola back to the Nou Camp.

Font believes the best way to keep Lionel Messi at Barcelona will be to entice former boss Guardiola back to the club from Manchester City.

Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned his presidency earlier this week, after months of criticism on Barcelona’s ailing finances and struggles on the pitch.

Bartomeu never recovered from Barcelona’s 8-2 Champions League quarter-final humbling at the hands of eventual tournament winners Bayern Munich.

But now Font has claimed he knows how to restore the glory days at the Catalan giants – starting with a move to lure old boss Guardiola back to the club.

“Most of the best professionals who know about this style are also fans and love the club, like Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol,” Font told Sky Sports News.

“They are all legends that love Barcelona but do not work for Barca today – we need to bring them back to ensure we will have a very competitive project.

“The only thing Messi needs is to know he is part of a competitive project that aspires to win the next Champions League.

Long-mooted reunion

“We have no doubt that if we basically have the honour to take the helm of FC Barcelona we will be able to achieve that [Messi staying].”

Bayern’s 8-2 hammering of Barcelona in August sparked Messi’s protracted attempt to leave the club, but a long-mooted reunion with Guardiola at Manchester City never materialised.

Ronald Koeman is battling to steady the ship after replacing Quique Setien, but Bartomeu’s resignation leaves a leadership void that Font is determined to fill.

Guardiola’s current Manchester City contract expires next summer.

The 49-year-old steered Barcelona to three triumphs in LaLiga, two Champions League titles and two Copa del Rey victories in four years at the Nou Camp – not to mention three Spanish Super Cups, two Uefa Super Cups and two Fifa Club World Cup wins.

Guardiola joined City in 2016 and has landed two Premier League titles, as well as three League Cup triumphs and two Community Shield successes.

“Replacing the best generation the world of football has ever seen, which I believe we have had over the last decade, is a big challenge,” said Font.

“Particularly at a time when competition is intense and many clubs are owned by very powerful owners.

“FC Barcelona also need a significant investment to rebuild the stadium and all in a world which has been hit with one of the worst crises ever [coronavirus].

“It is clear we need a very solid plan to meet these challenges and this is what we have been doing over the last few years.

“It is our intention to build a very strong and competitive project and we are very lucky at Barca that we inherited a style of play that Johan Cruyff instilled throughout the organisation.”

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