Laporta sets sights on Barcelona treble
Monday 18 May 2009
Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes the 2008-09 campaign will go down in history as one of the club's best.
Barca clinched the La Liga title when Real Madrid lost 3-2 at Villarreal on Saturday, just three days after they had secured the Copa del Rey.
Pep Guardiola's side will win an amazing treble if they can beat Manchester United in the Champions League Final later this month, but Laporta already thinks it has been a brilliant campaign.
He said: "We are living a dream in a year of records. A double is historic and we must enjoy it. This is one of the best seasons in our history.
"Iniesta's goal at Chelsea and the 6-2 win at Real Madrid are as good as anything this club has ever done.
"They will go alongside the 5-0 win in 1974 against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, and Bakero's goal in Kaiserslautern in the 1992 European Cup.
"I have congratulated Pep Guardiola, but I want to do so publicly. I also spoke to Carles Puyol to convey my congratulations to all the players and technical staff. These are moments to be enjoyed.
"Everything has happened very quickly, but the success is a result of great planning.
"The squad is convinced that they can win a historic treble, and Pep has told me that they have enough time to prepare.
"Everyone wanted this Final. It is a dream Final, with two different styles of play, but both deserving of a title. We will be faithful to our philosophy, our identity, and our style of play."
Meanwhile, Laporta has urged Real Madrid presidential candidate Florentino Perez not to try and sign any of the Camp Nou squad if he regains control at the Bernabeu.
Perez has hinted that he could try and prise some of Barca's stars away from the Catalan giants, but Laporta insists that that would be a waste of time.
He told AS: "I do not expect that he will try it, because the players of Barcelona belong to the club and therefore any attempt would be in vain.
"I would like it if he didn't dedicate time to try and destabilise Barcelona. He will not obtain anything and the truth is that it would not be worthwhile.
"As for the possibility of signing a player from Barcelona, I would say that he should leave us be and that he should not try to ruin the market.
"I do not like the fact he has left the door open, that he thinks there is a chance to sign any of our players."
Perez was earlier quoted as telling the same publication: "I do not remember any non-aggression pact with Barcelona.
"Each player, when you sign a contract, includes a clause that allows them to leave if a certain amount is paid. We can talk about it when the elections are decided."
Uruguay international Diego Forlan has no desire to leave Atletico Madrid this summer.
The former Manchester United striker has enjoyed another prolific season in La Liga, finding the net 27 times and forging an impressive strike partnership with Sergio Aguero.
Forlan's goals have helped Atletico challenge for a Champions League place, and he is hoping to still be playing in Europe's premier competition next term.
He told AS: "There are always rumours that I will leave in the newspapers. I am very happy here though, I am under contract and I want to qualify for the Champions League.
"I am very pleased to be playing for such a great club like Atletico Madrid."
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