The audacious and clever marketing ploy from FC Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta with his massive banner right beside the Bernabéu put an end to a depressing spell hanging over the Catalan club. The former president was favourite to win and this bold advertising ploy has done his campaign no harm and injected a breath of fresh air into the lungs of Barça fans who are desperately in need for positivity following a lousy summer which culminated and led to the mass resignation of the Bartomeu board. All at the club, including head coach Ronald Koeman have been waiting for someone to take the initiative and it appears that Laporta has picked up that baton.
At Real Madrid, the advertisement has been picked up in a mixed manner, some feel it's a provocative gesture but that seems to be little harsh given the subtle good natured humour that accompanied the picture of the 58-year-old candidate. Others feel that, the campaign is an in-direct line of adulation for Real Madrid, a sense that Barcelona never fail to be obsessed with their rivals from the capital. The verdict from the Bernabéu offices will matter little to Laporta on 24 January, the date for the elections with the candidate's message very much along the lines of: “Here I am, afraid of no-one, I've overseen the club before and will do so again if you want me to”. If nothing else, his campaign has lifted the cloud that has lingered for some time over Camp Nou.
It would appear that the creativity of Laporta's campaign even boosted the Barcelona first team as they delivered a fine first-half display last night in the game against Real Sociedad, despite a sense of defensive vulnerability. Messi was inspired and instrumental in providing a series of fine assists. Pedri was excellent and De Jong looked better playing in a more forward role as Barça dominated the first 45 minutes at Camp Nou and the scoreline could have been more convincing had Griezmann not missed a sitter. Things took a turn for the worse in the second half and the substitutes failed to generate any impact as La Real took control and the Basque side were unlucky not to record a draw. The mystery of this Barça's side character continues despite Laporta's best intentions to revive their spirits.