Barcelona are ‘out of the hospital’ after signing Lewandowski to start post-Messi era


Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said the club are ‘out of the hospital’ in terms of their financial situation as the La Liga giants unveiled striker Robert Lewandowski at Camp Nou in front of 57,300 fans.

Lionel Messi left Barcelona due to financial problems exactly one year to the day since the club introduced Europe’s two-time top scorer after sealing his move from Bayern Munich.


“A year ago, unfortunately, we had to announce an undesirable situation due to the economic situation of the club, but a year has passed and we can say that we are changing things,” Laporta said of the match. club’s failure to register new Messi. contract with LaLiga last summer to comply with the league’s Financial Fair Play rules.

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Laporta claimed in August that his board had inherited club-record debt of €1.35bn, but the sale of assets this summer saw Barca spend more than €150m in the transfer window.

“It’s been a very difficult year for us,” Laporta said. “We had so many big decisions to make and with a lot of pressure.

“A year later, we are reversing the situation. We have to continue working. But we can say that from a financial point of view, we are out of the hospital. We still have to be careful.”

“Barca brought in 800 million euros in the last two months. We made a big effort. We had to sell some assets but we can get them back in the future.

“We are working to help Barca become a reference in football again. We are returning to where we belong.”

Despite Lewandowski’s unveiling, he has yet to be registered with the other new signings.

“We worked hard to register all the players, not just Robert,” Laporta said. “It’s a LaLiga decision and we’re waiting. I think we’ve accomplished everything they asked for.”

Ahead of Barca’s league opener against Rayo Vallecano on August 13, a fourth financial injection has been approved by the Catalan club should they use it to comply with strict spending caps in La Liga.

“Regarding the fourth financial injection [the sale of a further 24.5% of Barça Studios to the company for €100m]this was something we planned to do as a precaution in case there was a difference in interpretation [with LaLiga]”, added Laporta. “It has been approved by the club, but we hope that we will not need to do so. If we have to use it, we will.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the registration of his new signings, Laporta beamed with pride as he spoke of Lewandowski.

“Today is a historic day for Barca,” he said. “We are all delighted that a player of Robert’s caliber is here. We are on the right path. We see in the transfer market that players want to come and play at Barca.

“We wanted a top striker. If a genius came to give us three wishes, we would have asked him for a goalscorer, one who has won the Golden Boot several times and is a guaranteed goal. And that’s Robert.

“Many clubs had offered Robert better financial terms, but he chose to come to Barca and that’s why I’m so grateful to him.”

Barcelona endured a tough campaign on and off the pitch last season but the Poland international says he is focused on a successful spell at Barca.

“When they explained the project to me, I knew I wanted to come,” he said. “It will be a different season from the previous one.

“It wasn’t easy to leave Bayern after eight years, but it’s the perfect next step for me and my family. I was ready for it.

“It’s a big challenge for me to be the best in Barcelona and push other players to give their best with my huge experience. We have a lot of young players with huge potential, but the mix youth and experience is important and if I can help them, I will.”

Lewandowski, who turns 34 on August 21, has signed a four-year contract with Barca.

“I don’t feel like I’m 33 or 34,” he added. “I feel like I can play at the highest level for more years.

“Real Madrid did very well in the Champions League and in La Liga last season. We are here to try to beat Real Madrid too.

“I’m looking forward to playing against them. But I’m not thinking about Real Madrid or competing with Karim Benzema. He’s an extraordinary player who has played for many years in La Liga. For me it’s important to play well with Barca.”