Luis Enrique 'pleasantly surprised' by Eibar

Luis Enrique after addressing the media on Saturday afternoon / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The FC Barcelona manager speaks to the media before his side travel to the Basque Country to face a small club that’s surpassing expectations

Next up for Barça is a trip to Eibar on Sunday at 4.00pm, and shortly before Saturday’s training session, followed by the trip to the Basque Country, manager Luis Enrique spoke to the press. Here’s some of what he had to say:

On Eibar

Eibar is one of the nice surprises in the league this season. They play direct football, they base their attacks on transitions, and are among the best sides at defending and creating pressure deep.”

“At home they are especially dangerous because of the size of their pitch and their fans. We know that from the game we played there last season.”

“They have a different manager this year and a different set of players. That will make the game more difficult, like any game away from home.”

On keeping their feet on the ground

“Everything is on very good track, but that hardest part is still ahead of us, the final and decisive stage of the season.”

On Leo Messi

“Messi is quite capable of finishing the season as top scorer in the league, and by ten clear goals. But the most important thing is that he is focused on winning things for the team, like all the other players. They know what it’s about. If they can achieve things on a team level then they’ll achieve things on an individual level too.”

On Rafinha

“If he’s being discussed as a potential member of the Brazil Olympic squad then that’s good news because it means he’s well on the road to recovery, Things are going to plan so far, and he was able to take part in almost all of the training exercises yesterday. But the doctors still haven’t given him clearance to play, and it’s up to them to decide when to do that.”

On not having a midweek fixture

“It’s a nice time to stop and have a look at what we have ahead of us. We don’t often get this much time to work on tactical issues. Long weeks like this are ideal for that kind of thing.”