Deco is the new sports director of Barcelona. The Brazilian signed his contract for the next three seasons, until June 2026, the same date that Joan Laporta’s second stage as president of Barça ends. This was confirmed by the Barcelona entity this Wednesday, despite the fact that the former agent – he represented, among others, Raphinha until he announced in June that he was selling his company – had begun to work in his new position since the end of last season. “Deco asked for full powers,” stresses a source from the Catalan club. The landing of the former Barcelona soccer player at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper had its victims: the first, Jordi Cruyff, who did not renew his sports secretary; the second, Mateu Alemany. “For now, Mateu will continue until September 2 (the market closes on the 1st) as football director. Later it will be seen if he continues at the club or not ”, they explain in the Camp Nou offices.
It is not the first time that Barcelona has talked about Alemany’s goodbye. In fact, on May 2, the club announced that he was leaving his duties. However, two weeks later, after frustrating his million-dollar contract with Aston Villa – “They paid him three times more”, they explained, at the time, from the Balearic environment -, Alemany agreed to continue him at Barça. By then it was already known that Jordi Cruyff’s stage had come to an end and that Laporta wanted Deco in the sports structure. “We all have to go together”, Xavi began to ask. The Barça coach believed in the tandem that he formed with Cruyff and Alemany. “Everyone knows their role, Jordi and Xavi in the sporting aspect and Mateu negotiates,” they explain from the technical staff. Deco’s presence altered the ecosystem in the Sports City, no one was so clear about his functions anymore, while Deco did know that he wanted absolute control.
Little by little, the relationship between Deco and Alemany began to wear out. There are those at Barça who justify the bad relationship as a matter of feeling, but there are also those who explain it through different interests, which translates into the transfer policy. Xavi, meanwhile, was in the middle. “The relationship with Mateu is excellent, but also with Deco. They get along very well since their time as teammates ”, they maintain from the coaching staff.
Alemany, who had a contract with Barcelona until 2024, was one of Laporta’s key pieces at the beginning of his management. His word at the Ciudad Deportiva was so important that even Messi pointed him out as the person responsible for his departure. In the 2020-2021 season, just after closing the door on the Argentine, Alemany spent 62 million on transfers, on nine footballers. The following year, thanks to the levers, he agreed to the arrival of eight players for a total of 158 million. This summer Barça signed three contracts: Gündogan, Iñigo Martínez and Oriol Romeu. He only spent 3.4 million.
Without Mateu in command of the football department, Laporta is presented with a new challenge: who will be in charge of balancing fair-play, one of Alemany’s specialties, and managing relations with LaLiga? In Laporta’s first stage at the Camp Nou, Txiki Begiristain (technical secretary) made a successful tandem with Raúl Sanllehí (soccer director), then it was Jordi Cruyff and Alemany who worked. Now, it seems that Deco is left alone. He has all the power, just as he asked.
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