Barcelona president Joan Laporta refused to rule out a return of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta in the future after their reunion at Camp Nou following Jordi Alves’ move away from B Barcelona. Laporta refused to comment when asked if he could see them returning, but did say that they would be “in good hands with Ernesto Valverde” if and when it happened.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has refused to rule out a return for Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. The club’s former captain was reunited with his old team-mate in the summer transfer window, but the pair are yet to play together since.
10:00 a.m. ET
Sam Marsden is a British actor who has starred in
After completing the acquisition of Dani Alves, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said that he would not rule out the possibility of bringing Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta back to the club.
On Wednesday, Alves, 38, was unveiled at Camp Nou in front of nearly 10,000 fans after signing a deal with Barca until the end of the season.
The Brazilian international, who left Barcelona after eight years in 2016, will not be registered until January, but he has already begun practicing with his new colleagues.
– Watch Barcelona vs. Espanyol LIVE on ESPN+ on Saturday, November 20 at 2:50 p.m. ET – La Liga on ESPN+: Stream live and on-demand games (U.S. only) – So far, the best photos of 2021-22 are: Messi’s departure and Ronaldo’s comeback
“I can’t rule it out,” Laporta said during Alves’ press conference when asked whether Messi and Iniesta will return to the club in the future.
“It occurred with Dani Alves, who saw the situation and wanted to assist; we appreciate his financial sacrifice, and he wants to help us turn things around.”
“Andres and Leo are two outstanding players. I have no ability to foresee the future. They are legends of the club who have helped to shape it into what it is now, and they will always be present, but they are also players with contracts with other teams. That must be respected, but you never know in life.”
Messi, 34, joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in the summer when Barca couldn’t afford to keep him, while Iniesta, 37, joined Vissel Kobe in Japan in 2018.
During his initial stay at the club, Alves had a good connection with Messi and joked that he would go and grab him from Paris.
When asked what Messi could be thinking after seeing Alves and Xavi Hernandez return to the club this month, Alves smiled and said, “If you give me a couple of hours, I will go and search for him.”
“Leo is the best player I’ve ever seen, and you never forget about the greats, particularly when you have a strong connection with them.”
Since 2018, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta have not played together for Barcelona. Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto/Getty Images/Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto/Getty Images/Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto
“He has a special place in my heart. We’re in the middle of a new process here, and I’d want to invite everyone to return. I’ve traveled to a number of locations, but none compare to this.”
Xavi, who took over as coach from Ronald Koeman earlier this month, approved Alves’ return, saying he is “what we need” in the team, according to Laporta.
Meanwhile, Alves, who won 23 titles during his previous tenure at Barca, acknowledged the magnitude of the challenge before of him but stated he is looking forward to it.
“I accepted the task because I believe I am capable of doing it,” he continued. “We’re going to change this club because, although the task is enormous, so is the will and determination to succeed.”
“I wasn’t meant to be second best. I didn’t come here to kill some time. I’ve come here to play and compete for a spot on the team, as well as to earn the right to play.”
Alves returns to a Barca that is much different from the one he left. When he joined Juventus in 2016, they had just won the double, but they are now ninth in LaLiga after 12 games, ahead of Saturday’s Catalan derby against Espanyol.
Off the field, the club’s gross debt stands at over €1.4 billion, and director of football Mateu Alemany, appearing alongside Alves, stated it would be tough for the club to make any more acquisitions in January.
“The fact is that we can register Xavi and his coaching staff, but we can’t do anything else right now,” Alemany remarked, referring to LaLiga’s €97 million spending restriction for the season.
“We are working on many scenarios, but as of now, [new signings] will not be able to be registered on January 1st. We’ll see what we can do to stay inside [LaLiga’s] fair play [requirements].”
- dani alves
- xavi hernandez