• Rosell: "If I had not been president of Barça, I would not be in prison"

Sandro Rosell spent 643 days in preventive detention with the manager Joan Besolí. He was accused of laundering 20 million euros in commissions and leading a criminal organization after acting as an intermediary to sell the rights of the Brazilian team in an operation 11 years ago. The judge responsible for the investigation, Carmen Lamela, never complied with his requests to be released on bail. On April 24, 2019, the former president of Barcelona was acquitted by the First Section of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court. " These two years in jail are not paid with anything. They stole two years of my life. It is going to mark me forever. Now I just want to become a normal and ordinary guy. And that nobody knows me."

Interviewed by the Lo de Évole program of La Sexta, Rosell, who is awaiting publication of a book that he himself was weaving into 10 notebooks purchased in the prison commissary, exploded his long stay behind bars, since they arrived and were placed " a monkey like the ones from Guantánamos, but in white. " And the moral dilemmas that arose while he was in a cell five meters long by two meters wide, with a small shower and and a metal toilet to share with Besolí. " How could we love an uncle who had killed his partner? Relationships in jail are beastly. I thought, 'We can't be friends with this person.' But we were," Rosell asks now.

The former president of Barcelona in Soto del Real agreed with the prisoners of the procés , but also with Gerardo Díaz Ferrán, Ignacio González ("we played something similar to squash in prison"), Bárcenas ("we were saying that my daughter likes her very much Stool, her son's group "), Rodrigo Rato (" I will always remember the hug he gave me when they released me "), Jordi Pujol Ferrusola (" he left me some sneakers when I arrived and a swimsuit with which the bee looked like Maya) or Ángel María Villar ("he told me that he knew that they had been persecuting me for a long time"). "That seemed to be the newscast of La Sexta," Rosell joked, recalling how on the day of his release he gave the prisoners of the You process a bag of conguitos . "Two for Oriol Junqueras and Joaquim Forn, who liked them very much."

Rosell wondered again if his entry into prison had anything to do with him presiding over Barcelona. Or with their political ideals. "Mine was a conspiracy, not a judicial error. The situation in Catalonia had an influence.

It seems that because they are Catalan, they now see you as a criminal. Being a Catalan didn't help me . "

Directly questioned as to whether he was independent, the former Barça president responded with a curious formula: " In a referendum for independence I would vote yes. But if I won the 'yes', I would leave Catalonia . One thing is what the heart does, and another what the head does. Does that mean being independent? I don't know. Or Catalonia, or me, would not go well. And you make the decisions for yourself. "

The former Barcelona president, who says he is looking for the "mastermind" who caused him to go to prison - "I want to know who is behind it" - was especially harsh on Jaume Roures, the founding partner of Mediapro. "In prison you become very badly thought. I already found it very strange that in the first rogatory, when Judge Lamela ordered my entry into prison and they asked him to make a search at his [Mediapro] headquarters, suddenly, that would stop "When they were already under investigation for bribes in the United States. I was surprised. As well as statements by Roures on TV3 in which he said that I would spend a lot of time in prison ." The former Barça president also assured that signing Neymar generated "many enemies".

Rosell explained that during the search made at his home on May 23, 2017, the Civil Guard found an envelope with money. "It was not mine or my wife's. And in the morning that envelope was not there. They recorded it and at night it was on all the news." Also that the justice blocked in prison 15 million euros of his assets. Figure that later amounted to 30 million. "They blocked everything for me. My family had to help me pay the bills so that in my house they could continue eating and having heating . "

Once he was released, the first thing Rosell did was go to the hotel with his family. " I went to shower. I undressed and saw myself in the mirror. It had been two years without looking in a mirror . In prison there are no, only plastics that you do not look good on. I needed to see myself. I had lost eight kilos. And I thought , 'How my body has changed'. I looked weird. "

Questioned about the pending cases for the signing of Neymar, Rosell settled: "I am not afraid of going back to jail."

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Know more

  • Catalonia
  • Neymar
  • Rodrigo Rato
  • Ángel María Villar
  • Oriol Junqueras
  • Jordi Pujol Ferrusola
  • Joaquim Forn
  • Ignacio González
  • Civil Guard
  • United States
  • Brazil
  • sports

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