'I would like Guardiola back' - Barca presidential candidate Laporta

Goal.com

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta says he hopes to bring Pep Guardiola back to the club as he prepares to run in the club’s presidential elections next year.

Laporta was previously in charge at the Camp Nou from 2003-10, a period where Barca began their rise towards the Guardiola-led dynasty.

It was during Guardiola's tenure as manager from 2008-12 that Barcelona arguably put together its most dominant team, claiming La Liga three times and the Champions League twice as part of a total haul of 14 major trophies.

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Those trophies, which also include two Copas del Rey and two Club World Cup crowns, sealed Guardiola as a Barcelona icon even after he departed the club in 2012.

Guardiola has gone on to bring his success elsewhere as well, leading Bayern Munich to three consecutive Bundesliga titles and Manchester City to two record-breaking Premier League triumphs.

It was Laporta who had initially hired Guardiola, famously ahead of Jose Mourinho, during his time as president.

And now, as he prepares to attempt to reclaim the role, the presidential candidate says it is his goal to bring Guardiola back.

"I'm working to introduce myself as a presidential candidate," Laporta told TV3. "I've been president before and I'm excited to be back. The situation in 2021 will be dramatic and we'll have to reverse it. I'm working with people I trust.

“I would very much like Guardiola to come back, but now he is at City and it is a decision that Pep should take. He is a benchmark for Barcelona and many Catalans would like him to train Barca again.

“At the right time, I will speak to the person we think should be a Barca coach from 2021.”

Another Barcelona icon is frequently linked with the managerial position, as Xavi has often been rumoured to be a coach-in-waiting for the club.

Xavi's former team-mate Bojan Krkic recently said that he believes the midfielder and Barca are "destined" for each other, and Laporta says that it is up to the current Al Sadd boss to decide when to come home.

"Xavi is already a Coach, he lives football and it is he who must decide what his moment is,” Laporta said.

"In 2021 there will still be players who were Xavi’s team-mates, and he must think if he is prepared to lead former team-mates, which is not an easy thing.”

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