BERLIN: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu took his own share of the credit AS the treble-winning European and Spanish champions returned home to the adulation of their fans writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
With club elections around the corner Bartomeu also expressed confidence that Luis Enrique, having triumphed in his first season at Camp Nou, would continue as coach.
Some doubts had been raised by Luis Enrique’s feisty ‘performance’ in the post-match press conference after Barcelona 3-1 win over Juventus in Berlin’s Olympic stadium on Saturday night.
Bartomeu said: “Luis Enrique has done a magnificent job. The trust he was given by [ex-director] Andoni Zubizarreta has worked and Luis, after winning the treble, has confirms what we believed all along that jhe is a very good coach.
“Yes, he has had a one-year contract but and I see no reason why he should not continue and maintain a new winning cycle at the club.”
Bartomeu insisted that the issue of a renewal remained out of his hands until after the elections.
Barcelona will ‘present’ new signing Aleix Vidal, the Sevilla defender, this week even though he cannot play until next January because of the club’s FIFA transfer ban.
Bartomeu said: “This is a signing we have been working on for some time because we have a position that needs strengthening. Other clubs were interested so it was important to make the agreement quickly.”
As for Berlin, Bartomeu said: “It was spectacular success. Over the course of the season the team has gone from strength to strength. We had some difficult moments but we took the correct, thought-through, decisions and that has been shown by wining the Liga, the cup and the Champions League.”
As for his proposals ahead of the elections, Bartomeu said: “Very shortly we will confirm the plans announced in January for a new management board led by Ramón Adell, who is already chairman of the finance commission.”
Bartomeu also indicated that the he expected to be extending the controversial sponsorship contract with Qatar Airways.
He said: “Our aim is for the new board to propose to the club assembly in September the sponsor. We have reviewed the market to study all the possible options and still await a few details but we have a solid agreement at the moment with Qatar Airways. “