Laporta: Paris Saint-Germain must adopt Barcelona's philosophy

The ex-Blaugrana president believes the Ligue 1 side must enhance their own personality, and revealed his pride at having spent time with "the greatest team in history"
Joan Laporta thinks Paris Saint-Germain must adopt Barcelona's philosophy if they are to develop into a great side.

Laporta was president at Camp Nou from 2003 until 2010, overseeing the development of the all-conquering side of Pep Guardiola, and he believes the Ligue 1 outfit must embrace the same ideals as the Catalan club if they are to achieve similar success.

"Barcelona and Paris are alike. These cities are characterised by their love of beauty," he said in an interview with Eurosport. "PSG must adopt the philosophy of Barcelona. I respect the investments of PSG but, in my opinion, it should be done with a single idea in mind: the spectacle. 

"When we arrived [at Barcelona in 2003], the situation was catastrophic. Txiki Begiristain, the sporting director, decided in collaboration with Johan Cruyff to have [Frank] Rijkaard installed on the bench, then bring in Ronaldinho. 'Ronnie' changed everything. He has been a dream for all lovers of football.

"The philosophy was that of Cruyff and it was probably the most important measure. It was essential to have a clear vision of where we were going. We had lost that spirit. The idea was to recover beauty before results.

"You must have the time, too. I knew that I had several years to complete my project. But I also knew that with Deco, Ronnie [Ronaldinho], [Samuel] Eto'o, Xavi and Iniesta, I was in the right. Philosophy and image as priorities. That's the key."

Laporta went on to reveal his pride at having steered the club to the top of the footballing pantheon, and said he was delighted to see two Blaugrana stars in the running for the Ballon d'Or once more.

"I am proud to have contributed to the creation of the greatest team in history," he continued. "So yes, this group can still win. The players are talented, intelligent and bound by friendship since adolescence.

"The Ballon d'Or? [Lionel] Messi may have a fourth in a row. But I am very happy for Andres. He has it all: incredible technique, the vision of the game and great humility."

Laporta also commented on PSG's stellar signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who endured a troubled time with Barcelona before going on to take both Serie A and Ligue 1 by storm.

He added: "Paris has signed a great professional. I am well placed to talk about Ibra because I signed him [for Barcelona]. He is a winner, he showed this in Italy and at all the clubs where he played. But more importantly, Ibra is a great scorer.

"In Barcelona, it is not easy to adapt the system. He did not have time to do so. I agree that we gambled putting a static striker in system that requires movement. I take full responsibility."