Bartomeu: Contracts for Messi and Iniesta?

Josep Maria Bartomeu insists Barcelona “never left” after their 3-0 victory over Juventus on Tuesday and reiterates Lionel Messi’s new contract “is signed”.

Over 3,000 Barca members have signed a vote of no confidence against Bartomeu and his board, but the President refused to back down, preferring to focus on the club’s victorious performance against Juve.

“The club never left. They’ve always been around. We must keep up our level of success,” he said after the game.

“We have a competitive club and team. We can be very happy. We wanted to win tonight, with a Messi that made the difference. We have enthusiasm and we have to get rid of the pessimism.

“We leave this game with a good taste in our mouths. The players we wanted in August didn’t come, but now we have to work with what we have and we’ve started the Valverde project, who has confidence, intelligence and knowledge.

“Messi? He has a four-year contract. He’s the best ever and played for us since he was small and we enjoy watching him play because he’s unique.

“Semedo, Dembele and Paulinho played against some great players tonight. Semedo did a lot and did it well. Valverde is blooding them slowly and correctly.

“Contracts for Messi and Iniesta? The club members can rest easy. We’ve already said Messi’s renewal is signed and that he’ll be at Barca for as long as he wants, the same with Iniesta.

“[Iniesta] has extraordinary quality. He was here when Ronaldinho was and now he’s with Messi. He’s crucial for us, he had a great game.

“Starting with three wins and conceding none is something that hadn’t happened for years.

“We’ve started with enthusiasm and excited the club members. It’s to Valverde’s credit.

“I’m very happy with the new Coach. We have confidence in him thanks to his intelligence.

“He has clear concepts of the football we play here and manages games very well. I’m very happy with his start.

“Champions League? It’s glamorous to start against Juve. The Barca members and fans will have had a great game. Barca are favourites in Europe like other clubs. We’re aiming to win everything.

“We have new players and a new Coach. We’re doing well in the League. At the moment, there are no extraordinary conditions for a vote of no confidence.

“We’re well on a sporting level, and the club are also very well on a club level, breaking records, while other areas of the club are working correctly.

“But we have to live through the process naturally, in accordance with the club’s statutes.”