1. Riqui Puig steps up to send Barcelona into Supercopa Final
Riqui Puig scored the decisive penalty that enabled Barcelona to reach the Spanish Supecopa Final, in which the Blaugranas will face Athletic Bilbao.
Riqui Puig explained: “I was the first one to put my hand up. I’m very happy for the goal, for going through to the final and above all for the team, we deserved it.”
“Throwing in the towel? I’d never do that. After so many years at the club, and the journey of reaching the first team, I am never going to throw in the towel.”
“I have never lost my smile. I’m a pretty happy kid. Even though I don’t play much, things are going well: I have my family, my health. I can’t complain about anything. If Ronald Koeman gives me minutes I will be grateful and I will take advantage of it, and if not I will keep working.”
In our The Barcelona Podcast, amongst many other topics, we talked in-depth about the future of Riqui Puig, and whether staying at the Camp Nou or leaving the club on loan was best for him.
Listen to The Barcelona Podcast here:
2. Eric Garcia, more likely to sign in January
Manchester City defender Eric Garcia has edged a step closer to the Camp Nou after agreeing personal terms with Barcelona, according to Goal.
City are reportedly insisting on including add-ons in any deal for Garcia which, according to Catalan sources, would be “incredibly hard” as the Citizens “will ask for an amount of money that we cannot afford to pay”.
With the Barcelona presidential election scheduled to take place in less than ten days, it will come to candidates Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa to come to an agreement if a deal is to be reached in January.
3. Arsenal eyeing Neto
Barcelona’s Brazilian goalkeeper Neto is one of the many goalkeepers Arsenal are interested in.
The North London club are reportedly pushing to close a loan deal for the Brazilian keeper and hope to include an option to sign him on a permanent basis in the summer.
Barcelona are adamant in pricing Neto at €20million at this moment in time, a valuation that Arsenal are not currently looking to meet.
4. Laporta, Font and Freixa become official candidates for presidency
Laporta, Font and Freixa will challenge each other to become the next President at FC Barcelona, the club confirmed:
“The electoral board met this Thursday at the Auditori 1899 at the Camp Nou to announce the definitive candidates for the Barcelona presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, January 24.”
“Following validation of the signatures presented, members Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa have been declared official candidates for the Barcelona presidency, pursuant to article 48.5 of the club statutes.”
Laporta had 9,625 signatures validated, Font had 4,431 and, for Freixa, 2,634.
Agusti Benedito, Xavi Vilajoana, Jordi Farre, Lluis Fernandez Ala, Pere Riera and Emili Rousaud, who also run for the presidency as pre-candidates, have all failed in their attempt to reach the required number of signatures from Socis.
We analysed the Barcelona presidential election in our recent The Barcelona Podcast.
Listen to The Barcelona Podcast here:
5. Victor Font confident in Messi staying beyond summer
Victor Font explained: “Messi has explained it, he ideally wants to stay here and finish his sports career at Barca. Before the summer, when there was the great frustration, he had always said that the most important condition for him is to have a winning and competitive project.
“We have a winning, competitive project, with people like Xavi. This relationship between Xavi and Messi exists, I believe that is one of the main reasons and guarantees that Messi will feel very comfortable with our project and we will have many options to continue.
The election has gotten very complicated as the vote has been moved to March 7th, though there has been an agreement to accept votes through the mail.