Joan Laporta must become Barcelona's new president

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Barcelona members will vote for a new president on July 18th and already five different candidates have thrown their hat into the ring.

Given that Barca have delivered the treble under Bartomeu, have re-signed Dani Alves and kept hold of Luis Enrique - all positive measures - one may conclude that Josep Maria Bartomeu
is in the box seat for re-election.

However, that doesn't take into account his association with disgraced former president and running mate, Sandro Rosell, whom most supporters of the club can never forgive.

Joan Laporta, the president prior to Rosell between 2003 and 2010, already looks to have won the populist vote.

Let's look at three reasons why he has to be installed as the new man at the top...

Unicef, not Qatar

You really need to be a genuine Barca supporter or at least live in the locale to understand the depth of feeling towards having a sponsor on the shirt.

The Blaugrana was untainted for over 100 years but Laporta was brave enough to break with this tradition. He did so with a stroke of genius.

Yes, Barca would finally have a name on their shirts, but it would be of worldwide charity Unicef - and Barca would pay them for the privilege! A unique move in the world of sport and very definitely aligned to the "mes que un club" (more than a club) ethos that the club likes to abide by.

To move back to Unicef, rather than the "stain" of commercial sponsor Qatar Airways, will sit very well indeed with the club membership.

The values of Cruyff

Joan Laporta very much identifies with the sporting values and playing style of Johan Cruyff. A "Cruyffista" if you prefer.

The style which the Dutchman brought to the club firstly as a player, but most notably as a manager, has stood the test of time, and it was with Pep Guardiola and a variant on the Cruyff methodology, that Barca enjoyed their most successful period to date.

By bringing Cruyff back into the fold, and more than likely restoring his Honorary Presidency - a title that was stripped from him in a hugely unpopular move by Rosell - Laporta wins again.

Eric Abidal

The trump card in Laporta's bid has to be the unveiling of former player Eric Abidal as sporting director.

The Frenchman is much loved by the supporters after battling and overcoming cancer to the point where he was well enough to resume his career at the highest level.

Holding aloft the Champions League trophy, and the cacophony of noise which greeted his first appearance back at Camp Nou after recovery, are moments that will live long in the memory.

Eric Abidal is worshiped at Barcelona and is a very popular appointment indeed.

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