Joan Laporta, was the architect behind one of the best football teams of all times, FC Barcelona. During his mandate the club won two UEFA Champions Leagues; four Spanish Ligas; one FIFA Club World Cup; one UEFA Super Cup; one Spanish King’s Cup and three Spanish Supercups.
Laporta is also a prestigious lawyer (graduating from the University of Barcelona) with his own firm, Laporta & Arbós, a combined practice of lawyers and economists, made up of professionals with a background in the business world and the civil service, whose mission is to provide enterprises with a truly integrated service. Joan Laporta is also a well-known politician and has been elected as member of the Catalan regional parliament and is also city counselor for Barcelona’s city council.
“We managed to achieve excellence in our field but everything is a process and the ones who deserve all the recognition are the players. We had the best ones” – Joan Laporta
His first season as President of FC Barcelona would prove to be a watershed for the club. The club situation was one of bitter unhappiness and disappointment amongst both fans and players after the club failed to meet their own standards, having not won trophies since 1999. With Laporta’s arrival, as well as new manager Frank Rijkaard among others, the club was forced to embark on a new phase, having elected a new, young and largely untested managerial board along with him.
The 2006-2007 season started with the signing of the agreement with UNICEF, in which the Club committed itself to collaborate economically and in addition wear the UNICEF logo on the shirts of the football team. This was an unprecedented move designed to strengthen the strategy of converting Barcelona into “more than a club” throughout the world.
In 2008, Josep Guardiola was appointed first team manager. The year before he had taken over the reserve side, Barcelona B, when they were on the verge of promotion to Second Division B. After this appointment the most brilliant season in the history of the club began. The football first team achieved success in every competition in which they took part. The team won the Kings Cup, then the league and finally the Champions League against Manchester United in Rome, the third European Cup in the Club’s history. At the beginning of the next season, this list of titles was extended to include the Spanish Super Cup, the European Super Cup and the World Club Cup, making this Barca the team of the Six Cups. The World Club Cup won in Abu Dhabi against Estudiantes de la Plata (2-1) was the only competition never won before by the Club. President Laporta was then able to round off his mandate with another league title in the 2009-10 season.
In Joan’s seven years as President, Barcelona won the World Club Cup, two European Cups, the European Super Cup, four League Titles, the Kings Cup, three Spanish Super Cups and three Copes Catalunya. In the economic and social areas the annual budget increased from E170 million to E445 million whilst membership rose from 106,135 to 173,701.