In an effort to persuade the Argentine to remain at the club, Joan Laporta, as the new Barcelona president, made a direct plea to Lionel Messi at his appearance.
“You know the affection I hold for you and we will do whatever it takes to keep you here. You know you cannot leave, Leo,” Laporta said.
He thus shifted the discussion to the Argentine and his expiring contract: “We will not be able to do it alone. As our anthem says, we are strong all together. More so in these most difficult times. We know how to do it.
“When the pandemic is over our revenue will return. That will be fixed. There will be strong leadership because I am well-accompanied. We will make decisions. To defend the club you have to live and breathe it and we do that as much as possible.”
Laporta also mentioned his vision for the club in the future during his presentation, which was attended by Messi.
“In our first spell, we had the best players in Barça history, but if we were good, it was because we had consistency,” he said, winking at Messi.
“It is Barcelona’s unity which gives you stability and I invite everyone to Barcelona to think about what they can do for Barça. I am here to make decisions, like convincing Leo to carry on, taking advantage of the fact that he is here. He knows that.”