Barcelona’s race against time amid desperate grasp at short-term levers

The club’s raft of new signings were hastily registered just 24 hours before Saturday night’s opening La Liga fixture against Rayo Vallecano

Joan Laporta has always followed Johan Cruyff. Growing up, he cut his hair like Cruyff; in his first spell as president at Barcelona the Dutchman who changed the club and the game like no one else was his advisor, an ideologue and spiritual leader.

And now, in Laporta’s second spell, he still is, even after his passing. “I always have Johan with me because of all he taught; deep down he’s still guiding us,” Laporta says.

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