Luis Enrique, the Spanish manager, has weighed in on the Lionel Messi debate.
Over the past few weeks have been tumultuous in camp Nou as the drama reached a new level and suddenly twisted and turned; but in the end, Lionel Messi has agreed to stay in Barcelona.
Enrique coached Messi between 2014 and 2017, during which time they won two La Liga Santander titles and one Champions League amongst other things, but he believes that Barcelona and the Argentine should have reached an agreement over his departure.
While talking with the press, he shared his views about Messi and other topics on Saturday, which has been published in Marca.
“It’s a very delicate subject.”
“The clubs are above everything and everyone.”
“Leo has made Barcelona grow a lot, but I would have preferred an agreement.”
“It’s good to be grateful, on both sides.”
“The day will come when Leo leaves Barcelona, that’s it.”
Ansu Fati is the next big prospect in Barcelona and the 17-year-old even made his Spain debut against Germany in the UEFA Nations League, but the Spain coach thinks that people should go slowly with him.
“Comparing him with Messi is putting him in a situation he will lose,” Luis Enrique said.
“I was surprised by his normality, his composure… It’s good to see him training.”
“He’s a different player. It’s a pleasure to see him train and see how he is in the national team setup.”
“I wish he could have more minutes at his club.”
“In Germany, he created a lot of things, but the whole team [too].”
“The attitude was wonderful. His face said he was looking forward to playing.”
“But you have to go slowly, [he’s only] 17. His future is great.”
Given that he was impressed with some elements of Spain’s display against Germany; will Luis Enrique now make changes for the Ukraine match on Sunday night?
“I don’t see that they [the players] can all go away happy,” he stated.
“I’m going to decide by what I see and what the game needs.”
“We’ll see how many [play again].”
“Adama [Traore]? The same thing.”
“They’ll know first, and they find out two hours before so they’re all in on it.
“Repeating the XI is a possibility, but we have to analyze a lot of things.
“But I don’t want to give clues to [Andriy] Shevchenko, who is very clever.”