Barcelona [Spain], March 8 (ANI): After being elected as the new Barcelona president, Joan Laporta said that he is seeing signs indicating that Argentine striker Lionel Messi wants to stay at the club.
Laporta was elected as president by the club members in the elections for the Presidency and Board of Directors held on Sunday. It was an exemplary election day, and for the first time, it was held in six different electoral venues and incorporated the vote-by-mail results.
"Seeing Lionel Messi coming to vote, seeing him taking part, that is very telling. Twenty years ago he made his debut with Barca's youth team. Seeing the best player in the world come out to vote today is a clear sign of what we keep saying. Leo loves Barca," Goal.com quoted Laporta as saying.
"The best player in the world loves Barca and I hope that is a sign that he will stay at Barcelona, which is what we all want," he added.
Messi's contract with Barcelona is set to end this stummer and Laporta would now be tasked with asking the Argentine striker to re-commit to Barcelona.
A total of 55,611 members exercised their right to vote and by a large majority, they chose Joan Laporta with a total of 30,184 votes. Before the start of election day, 20,663 members had already exercised their right to vote by mail, which for the first time was incorporated in elections to the presidency, and 87,479 members could vote in person in any of the six territorial headquarters, FC Barcelona had said in its official statement.
Laporta was previously elected president of FC Barcelona after winning the elections held in June 2003, and in the summer of 2006, he was re-elected as president of the club.
During the seven years of his presidency, the first team achieved two Champions Leagues, four league championships, a Copa del Rey, a Club World Cup, a European Super Cup, three Spanish Super Cups, and three Spanish Cups.
It should be noted that the four professional sections of the club (football, basketball, handball, and roller hockey) managed to proclaim themselves European champions under his presidency too. (ANI)