The former FC Barcelona player, Juan Manuel Asensi, was proclaimed president of the Players Association on Tuesday, January 17, at the members' meeting held in the Club Auditorium. The meeting validated Asensi's candidacy, the only one that had taken place in the electoral process that began at the end of November. The former Barça player has assumed the presidency, taking over from Ramon Alfonseda, who has been at the head of the Association for 20 years, with a board of directors composed of 13 more directors: David Almazán, Oscar Arpón, Josep Maria Comadevall, Pere Valentí Mora, Julio Alberto Moreno, Antoni Olmo, Félix Palomares, José Joaquin Albaladejo, Miguel Reina, Marcial Pina, Manuel Tomado Esteban Vigo and Rafael Zuviría.
In front of hundred attendees, Asensi highlighted the work done by the former president: “I want to thank Ramon Alfonseda and the entire board of directors for these 20 years, my sincerest congratulations for all the work they have done,” he thanked. “Today is an important day not only for me, but for everyone because we are starting a new phase. A stage in which we are all united to achieve the goal of making this Group a little bigger,” added Asensi.
Asensi spoke these words in the presence of the club's president, Joan Laporta, the vice-presidents Rafael Yuste and Elena Fort, and the directors Aureli Mas and Josep Ignasi Macià.
Joan Lporta said that “as president of Barça it is an honor to be here today. It is a historic event, because after 20 years it represents a replacement in the presidency of the Group. A change that occurs between two former teammates, two players who have made Barça great and who know perfectly well what Barça is and what the players need”. Lporta wanted to introduce Asensi by highlighting his fighting spirit and also assured that “from the Club we will help you in everything that is necessary, you will have all the support we can give you”.
The president of the Group, Ramon Alfonseda, gave the testimony to Asensi: “You will be proud to be barcelonista, to represent the Club, to help our people. This is our world and I want you and your board of directors to enjoy it as much as we did,” said Alfonseda. In the shape of an old ball that represents the legacy that Alfonseda received when he became president. José Antonio Camacho and Fernando Zambrano, from the Association of Spanish Football Players, also attended.
One of Basel's heroes
Juan Manuel Asensi (Alicante, 1949), played in the first team of FC Barcelona between 1970 and 1981, with a total of 494 games and 126 goals. In addition, he wore the captain's armband since 1978 and was the one who won the first European Cup Winners' Cup won by the Club, in the legendary Basel final in 1979, where he also scored a goal. To this triumph we must add 1 League, 2 Copas del Rey and 1 final of the Fires Cup. He played 41 games for the Spanish national team. In his tribute match at the Camp Nou, he received the Gold Medal for Sports Merit.
After his professional career, Asensi dedicated himself to grassroots football, where his role in different Barça teams stands out. With Juvenile A, in 1993-94 he won the double for the first time. He was president of the Association of Spanish Football Players (AFE) between 1978 and 1979.