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Bassat said he wouldn't lie to win the election.

Publicist Lluis Bassat has hit out at Joan Laporta for the manner in which he won their 2003 presidential election duel when Laporta claimed that if he became president he would bring David Beckham, then of Manchester United, to Barcelona.

"It was a wonderful experience. I did not win the election and it was probably because I did not invent that I would bring a player,"  Bassat told Spanish television show Buenafuente of his election campaign.

"In the last election, Joan Laporta had nine per cent of the vote, ten days before the election and I had 42 per cent. Then he invented the signing of Beckham which I knew was not true because I knew he would sign for Real Madrid.

"A journalist friend of mine told me to say I was trying to sign [Thierry] Henry but I told him I would rather lose the election than my dignity. I lost the elections but don't regret doing so."

Laporta failed to sign Beckham but instead captured Ronaldinho who was a vital cog in the team that went on to win two Primera Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League and the Brazilian was also crowned FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Paul Madden, Goal.com

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