Luis Enrique: 'Having Leo Messi is a privilege'

Luis Enrique, durant el partit a El Molinón / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
The FC Barcelona manager reflects on a wonderful result for his team against his hometown club Sporting Gijón

Locally honoured

Pitu Abelardo and Luis Enrique, the respective coaches tonight and also two firm friends, shared an amicable moment together in the Molinón pressroom, where they were jointly recognised an ambassadors for ‘Gijón European City of Sport 2016’.

After the 3-1 win at El Molinón, Luis Enrique shared his thoughts with the media. Here’s a selection of quotes from the FC Barcelona manager’s press conference:

Winning tactics

“By passing the ball around, we were able to shut Sporting around their own area. We had the usual difficulties against a team that likes to sit back and play on the counter-attack, but it was a very good game for us all round. We controlled the play and created plenty of clear-cut chances.”

“I’m optimistic in any situation. In the last ten games the teams that need points the most will win matches but we are where we want to be.”

Messi and Suárez

“It is a privilege to have Messi whoever you are playing against. Suárez’s goal did us a lot of good because it took off some of the pressure.”

“We obviously need to do better from penalties but we have every confidence in Luis, Messi and Neymar. They’re three great penalty takers.”


“Sporting looked good to me. They played without several regulars but competed hard. We played seriously and that won us the three points.”

“Sporting are playing well enough to avoid the drop. They’ve been out of the relegation zone for a few games now, so it’s in their hands and the fans are behind them.”

“I’m not very sentimental, and I come to Gijón every summer and Christmas, so I see my family a lot. But it’s always a pleasure to come to the Molinón, and it’s been a very nice day all round for me.”

“The home team’s goal came after an impeccable move. Sporting should take full credit for mounting a counter-attack so well. It was a textbook counter-attack … You always have to remember that the opposition are playing too.”