Video captures Barcelona president Joan Laporta issuing emotional speech to stars

‘We almost had it’: Video captures Barcelona president Joan Laporta issuing emotional speech to stars and hugging boss Xavi after entering the dressing room following their Clasico defeat to Real Madrid in the Super Cup

Barcelona president Joan Laporta entered his side’s dressing room following their dramatic Clasico defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid to issue a passionate message to the players on behalf of the struggling giants’ fans.

Laporta and new Barca boss Xavi are attempting to halt an alarming decline at the former Champions League contenders which has left them needing to qualify for the Europa League and well out of contention for the Liga title they once routinely won.

Since the beginning of his second term in charge of the club in March 2021, Laporta has repeatedly had to explain how Barcelona will deal with colossal debts that were estimated at £1.15billion at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Luuk de Jong (second from left) scored as Barcelona lost 3-2 to Real Madrid in the Super Cup

Xavi (centre) failed to win his first trophy as Barca boss but president Joan Laporta was happy

Xavi (centre) failed to win his first trophy as Barca boss but president Joan Laporta was happy

The 59-year-old also oversaw the sacking of previous manager Ronald Koeman in October following the Dutchman’s underwhelming 14-month tenure – and he clearly sees signs of recovery under another club legend, Xavi, who took over in November.

Barca were outsiders against Liga leaders who are 17 points above them in the table ahead of the showdown in Riyadh on Wednesday, and Laporta must have feared the worst when Vinicius Junior gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side the lead after 25 minutes.

Spirited Barcelona were only beaten by Federico Valverde’s 98th-minute goal after they twice levelled the scores through Luuk de Jong and Ansu Fati.

In footage released by the club, Laporta could be seen telling the squad that the Culers – Barcelona’s members – were much happier with a run of results that has seen their heroes lose only one of their last seven matches over 90 minutes. 

The president told the Barca players that fans ha ve never been as proud as they currently are

The president told the Barca players that fans ha ve never been as proud as they currently are

The dressing room applauded as Laporta then headed towards Xavi to embrace the manager

The dressing room applauded as Laporta then headed towards Xavi to embrace the manager

Laporta said: ‘We’re very proud. All of the Culers are proud to be Barcelona fans – now more than ever.

‘The messages that we’re receiving from Barcelona, that match that you’ve played where you stepped up, you showed talent, you showed pride, you’ve outdone yourselves. You were brave, brave. We can be proud.

‘As the president of Barca, with the rest of the board, and the Culers around the world, we’re all proud to be Barca fans. Thank you all. 

‘This is the path, coach, staff: very good. Brave. We almost had it. We’re just missing the win, but I’m sure that if we keep going, we’ll get it. Thank you. Visca [prosper], Barca. You’ve stepped up. we’re proud.’

Laporta has had a predictably eventful second spell and appointed club icon Xavi in November

Laporta has had a predictably eventful second spell and appointed club icon Xavi in November

Barcelona’s players and staff applauded the president before he hailed Xavi, who later hailed the performances of the young players the club is relying on.

Those prospects include 19-year-old Fati, with some suggesting the Spain sensation could be the successor to Lionel Messi following the Barca all-time top scorer’s enforced departure in August.

Barca travel to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, then visit Alaves in La Liga three days later. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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