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Jul 25, 2013

Laporta backs Martino, has dig at Rosell

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has given his endorsement to new coach Gerardo Martino, but also took a swipe at his own successor Sandro Rosell.

- Coelho: Who is 'Tata' Martino?

- Kelly: Martino will maintain traditions

Laporta believes the new Barca coach - who took over after Tito Vilanova stepped down due to his battle with throat cancer - will continue an internationally admired style of attacking football that he helped implement at Barca under his tenure with the help of club legend Johan Cruyff and managers Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola.

“The best Barcelona side of all time has been built on that style, a side that is admired around the world, and it would be a mistake to break with that,” Laporta said at the presentation of the 50th edition of magazine Libero, for which he is a collaborator.

“[Martino] has said he is a fan of Guardiola and that shows he is intelligent and knows that this is a system that works. I wholeheartedly support Martino.”

Laporta was Barca president from 2003 to 2010 and under his leadership the Catalan side won four league championships, one Copa del Rey and two Champions League titles. The politician has announced he will stand for the position again in 2016, taking on Rosell, the man who succeeded him three years ago.

And Laporta didn’t let the opportunity pass without having a dig at his former colleague.

“He has a complex,” Laporta said. “He has very little dignity and no regard for democracy.”

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