Barcelona”Fasten your seat belts, we’re going to have a good time.” Fifteen years after Pep Guardiola uttered the legendary phrase that summed up an era full of success, Roger Grimau appeared in society leaving a similar sentence. “We’re going to have a hell of a time, we’re going to lose our skin and hopefully bring a lot of joy to the fans.”
From the Lithuanian to Catalan model. After a three-year period with Sarunas Jasikevicius at the helm, Barça basketball is opening a new period in which it aims to accentuate the role played by Catalan coaches. Grimau is the new visible head of a coaching staff formed by Carles Marco, Víctor Sada, Òscar Orellana and Xavi Beltran. One of the goals is to empower young players. “Hopefully things that already started happening with Saras, which is that players from the base appeared, will continue to happen. I know them very well, but they must continue to work hard. It is difficult, because we are in a club with a lot requirement, which must win yes or no. There are special cases, which do not feel so much pressure, but we must be careful with all of them,” explains Grimau.
“The challenge is a beast, yes, I know. But there hasn’t been a challenge in my life that hasn’t made me feel butterflies in my stomach. When Barça came looking for me, it was clear what I had to say yes. I am ready, convinced that I can lead this group, happy, excited and very well accompanied,” says Grimau.
The signings of Joel Parra, Willy Hernangómez and Darío Brizuela have enlivened the local environment. “An extraordinary job is being done. We are signing very well and we will fight for everything. Because the goal, as it cannot be otherwise, is to try to get all the titles. I am ready for the challenge. Joel Parra us he will give energy and delivery, he will be a key piece at Palau in the coming years. I will not discover anything from Willy Hernangómez, with maximum quality. And then we have Darío Brizuela, who will bring that magic with the ball,” analyzes the coach.
Joan Laporta pulls out of the bet. “It is a very special day for the club and very special for Barça basketball. We are very happy to be able to share this day with you. You are now continuing a magnificent sports career as a player and a great job in grassroots basketball. It is a new project and, although the challenge is big, we are sure that many successes will be achieved. Your victories will be the victories of the Palau and we all think it was the best decision for Barça”, he says.
Josep Cubells, manager responsible for the basketball section, is even more forceful. “A new era begins. Our goal was to return Barça to the European elite. This has happened, with participation in the final four and national titles. In addition, the basketball crowd has returned to the Palace, to vibe with the team, to be loyal. And this is key for us. And now a new stage begins, very important for all fans. A new era that has the spirit of 2010,” he summarizes.
Barça has set itself the goal of reducing the salary of the basketball team by more than 12 million euros. Of the almost 40 million euros invested this past season, the club expects to go to just 27.2. The club has yet to reach a release agreement with Nikola Mirotic, but the positions have relaxed in recent hours. As the ARA advanced, the player is asking for 16 of the 22 million gross euros he has signed, a figure that represents almost 73% of the total. Unlike what happens with the football staff, the compensations of the sections do not count in the fair play. The club is ready to reach 12 million euros.
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