Sandro Rosell and Johan Cruyff have continued their unsavoury public bickering ahead of Wednesday evening’s Champions League group clash between Barcelona and Ajax at the Camp Nou.
The game is the first competitive meeting of the two clubs which marked Cruyff’s historically successful and influential playing and coaching career, and might have been a celebratory occasion but for the complete breakdown in his relationship with current blaugrana president Rosell.
Cruyff -- an ally of Rosell’s former Barca board colleague and now foe Joan Laporta -- has said he hopes Ajax win the game and that he will not set foot inside the Camp Nou while the current regime is in charge.
The Dutchman also reportedly turned down an invitation by the Catalan club to attend the traditional pre-game meal between representatives of the two clubs.
Rosell told Mundo Deportivo that he was not unhappy with that news as Cruyff -- and his followers -- were trying to divide ‘barcelonismo’.
“It will be difficult to unite all barcelonismo, above all the cruyffistas,” Rosell said. “As president I feel bad that he does not come to the directors lunch before the game, but as a person, no.”
Cruyff was in the city ahead of Wednesday evening’s game with Mundo Deportivo’s photographers snapping him at Barca’s 4-1 win in the UEFA Youth League game between their respective youth sides on Tuesday. At Barca’s Miniestadi he met with Carles Puyol, Marc Overmars and Andoni Zubizarreta and told Catalunya Radio that Rosell’s comments were absurd.
"Rosell talking about cruyffismo being divisive is absurd,” he said. “We are all with Barca. Everything else is mental problems.”