Two months after posting his “Can’t wait to see you again” billboard in the heart of Real Madrid’s domain, Laporta was back in the public eye with an event to present his team, with a number of winning picks. I noticed, in addition to the support of some big-hitters in the Barcelona universe, the presence of Mateo Alemany, who impressed with his management at Mallorca and Valencia. It was not revealed what job he’d carry out, but his presence adds solidity to the project. Albert Benaiges was there too, the guru behind some of the best years of production from La Masia, who Víctor Font relied upon to draw up his plans for the club.
Laporta acted with an undeniable ‘Kennedy-ish’ air. He knows his presence evokes a glorious time, golden and in the recent past, and he adds a dose of optimism to any setting. His updated version still has an air of youth about it, but with an added maturity bringing the calm that was lacking in his previous incarnation. Yesterday he didn’t even fall into the trap over the sending off in Bergamo that someone laid for him. He ignored the debates (he will attend the three planned for the official campaign, with Barça TV, Grupo Good and TV3 respectively). While Freixa and Font batter away at each all over the place, he’s been putting together his convincing team who he presented yesterday, Thursday, on an appropriate date.
Freixa relaunched his campaign yesterday with an aggressive style, including such slogans as the promise to fight against ‘VARentino’ (in reference to Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez), sly digs at the Luz de Gas (the nightclub where Laporta was photographed, cigar in hand and covered in champagne after beating Real Madrid) and references to Reus, brought low by Oliver, who was Laporta’s right-hand man back the day. Víctor Font, who spent a long time preparing his model with the help of Xavi and Benaiges, has not been able to present them as his exclusively when push came to shove. The campaign starts today, Friday, the elections are on 7 March. Laporta hit a winner two months ago and he hit another one yesterday, He’s got the relaxed smile of a winner.