Pau Gasol to finish the season with Barça

The Catalan's main goal is to make the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games the epilogue of his career

Àlex Gozalbo
2 min
Pau Gasol, in Barcelona

BarcelonaPau Gasol will finish the season at Barça basketball club. Although the club neither confirms nor denies the news and refers to its official communication channels, the pivot from Sant Boi will become the new player of the team coached by Sarunas Jasikevicius in the next few hours. The Catalan's main objective is to make the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games the epilogue of his career.

Toni Freixa, Barça's election candidate, was the first to hint at the news. "Barça basketball won't play until Friday, could it be that we have some big news in the next few days?" he tweeted. The message was accompanied by a photograph of Pau Gasol dressed in blue and red. If the club registers him before Thursday, the center will be able to play both the final stretch of the Endesa League and the Euroleague.

Barça "categorically" denied last July having had "any kind of conversation or negotiation" to bring in Pau Gasol. "I would love to have Pau Gasol at Barça. I don't rule out his return, but now he has the conditions of a world star in the NBA and we don't have the means to match them", said Josep Maria Bartomeu during an interview on RAC1 radio station. The president's message was more specific than that of Sarunas Jasikevicius, the new coach of the azulgrana team. "You all know how fond I am of Pau. He's a friend of mine and I guess it wouldn't be bad for us, right?" he said during his presentation.

The icing on the cake

After years of assuring that he did not rule out retiring at Barça, Pau Gasol's time has come to consider the real possibility of doing so. The Catalan pivot, who is currently recovering from an injury, has the agreement of the Catalan club to reinforce a very ambitious project that has Nikola Mirotic as its backbone. The operation has no economic risks for Barça and the only doubts are about his physical condition (he has not played a game since 10 March 2019).

Pau Gasol reached an agreement a year ago to become a strategic advisor, global ambassador and partner of the Barça club in the United States. Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the player presented the two-year partnership at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, which aims to work together to strengthen the Barça brand.

Barça considered Pau Gasol to be an ideal ally to strengthen the club's brand and to help open up new business opportunities thanks to his prestige, experience and network of contacts in the country. An important part of this agreement includes collaboration between the Fundació Barça and Gasol Foundation to create and implement programmes that advance the missions of the two social entities in the United States and around the world to help the most vulnerable children.