After a surprisingly short ceasefire, barbs are once against flying between the two FCBs. Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona have been exchanging jabs at each other for much of the summer, thanks to the fraught negotiations over the transfer of Robert Lewandowski. It seems that the conclusion of the saga has yet to cease hostilities between the two clubs, as FCB#2 president Joan Laporta hit out at FCB#1 for Julian Nagelsmann’s criticism of their spending.
Speaking to club mouthpiece Mundo Deportivo, Mr. Laporta seemed rather rattled by the Bayern coach’s comments. Here’s an excerpt of the interview, reproduced by @iMiaSanMia:
Joan Laporta on Julian Nagelsmann's criticism of Barcelona's spending: "I would ask them to take care of their business. They received significant money from the transfer of Lewandowski. I respect everyone and I don't interfere in the economy of others" [@mundodeportivo] pic.twitter.com/rW08Q1eQYD— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) July 29, 2022
“I give them the benefit of the doubt,” he continued, “because maybe they thought we couldn’t, but they hadn’t gauged the strength of Barca and the drive of the new board. It’s ignorance and lack of information.”
“It’s true that we were in a terminal stage, but we left the hospital with the levers and these gentlemen have stayed stuck in a page that we have turned. If I don’t get involved in what others do, they shouldn’t get involved in what we do. Maybe they do it because they think we will continue to be active in the market and they see that we have surpassed them. They should worry about themselves.”
Mind you, he says this as FC Barcelona curate a coordinated media campaign to force Frenkie de Jong out of the club, which has to happen otherwise they cannot register their new signings (such as Robert Lewandowski). Of course irony is lost on him, much like it is lost on the Barcelona fanbase.
Laporta continued by saying, “Our competitors see that we are making good signings and that players want to come to Barca, but all clubs have reinforced. They do what they consider right and I don’t get involved in their business.”
We’ll see how that pans out. For someone who is so convinced of his board’s achievements, Laporta seems very invested in going to the media and loudly proclaiming his club’s newfound wealth. Laporta was similarly bullish about Leo Messi’s contract extension, and we know how that ended. Is he telling the truth this time, or is this another smokescreen from a canny politician?
Only time will tell.
In today’s press conference before the Leipzig game, Nagelsmann responded to Laporta’s comments. He doesn’t seem particularly bothered.
Nagelsmann: "I'll always give my opinion in the future. I don't write down all my answers before the press conference. It's coming spontaneously, that's maybe not always the smartest thing. I don't have a problem with Conte or Laporta responding back, that's part of the game" pic.twitter.com/OoGAr2Syjx— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) July 29, 2022