FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is preparing the club’s future in the mid to long term, both institutionally and in sporting terms. For when at some point “within four or five years”, Lionel Messi stops being able to play at the top level.
In an interview with BBC Sport, the president spoke on various topics. “Since Ronaldinho came to Barca, he changed the history of the club, he changed it,” said Bartomeu. “He brought us back our smile, satisfaction and happiness.”
On Pep, he said: “Guardiola as a coach, helped the club grow to reach sporting excellent.”
On Lionel Messi, he said: We have the best player in the world, in the history of football.”
That is where Bartomeu explained that Barca cannot rely on the Rosario born genius forever. “I know that some day Messi will stop playing, I expect that within four or five years, and I want to prepare the club for the future.”
The Barca chief says the way to prepare is “bringing young talents like Dembele, Coutinho and Frenkie de Jong” because “we want and we should maintain this line of excellence and success”.
In the interview, Bartomeu remembers that “my mandate ends in two seasons and I want to prepare the club for the future, to hand over (to the new board), with many more fans, much more income and many projects, so the team keeps being competitive.”