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Potential New Barcelona President Speaks About Messi’s Future At The Club

One of the candidates for the Barcelona presidency has said Lionel Messi will not leave under his tenure.

Agusti Benedito, candidate for the soon-to-be vacant position of Barcelona president, has been discussing his manifesto.

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The 50 year old, who has been involved with Barca since the “Elefant Blau” movement in 1997, told Goal.com that he has “a very clear idea of what the club represents and we haven’t seen that reflected in any past candidacy. So the only way to take Barca where we want is through [my] own candidacy – and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

In a wide ranging interview, he told reporters that the two key pillars that his campaign would be built on would be the retention of superstar Argentinian Lionel Messi and an end to the club’s association with Qatar, which he says is hurting their “Mes que un club” (More than a club) image.

“The Qatar contract is a very harmful for Barca,” he claimed.

“It’s not an interesting contract financially but, more importantly than that, in terms of image, values and feeling, for what Barca represents, I believe the club should stay well away from the Qatar regime.”

Interestingly, he did not rule out a return to either a sponsor-free shirt (which Barcelona persisted with until recent times), or a return to the free-of-charge Unicef sponsor which they used between 2006 and 2011.

He also promised significant investment in the Nou Camp, which he said needs “redevelopment”, and promised he would maintain the Barca tradition of bringing at least 15 of their 25 man squad directly from their La Masia training academy.

The election takes place this summer.

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