Luis Enrique was a happy man after the first game of the preseason. Nobody got hurt, and he was able to give run outs to a number of interesting young prospects while also handing valuable playing time to his first team members.
Aleix Vidal was the only man who played the full 90 minutes of the friendly with Celtic. “This game was about gradually getting the players’ fitness levels up” explained the coach after it had concluded. “And Aleix was on fine form throughout the match.”
He also named Sergi Roberto in his post-game conference, saying that “he was as marvellous as ever. He’s more than a player because he does well wherever I ask him to play”.
Here is a round-up of quotes from the players after the final whistle at the Aviva Stadium:
“It felt very good. We were up against a fine opponent who are already into their rhythm. I felt comfortable in both positions, on the left and the right, and with the best player in the world on the field (Messi), everything is so much easier”.
“I’m really happy to have made my debut, because I’d waited so long for this moment to come. I know it wasn’t an official match, but I’m delighted all the same.
“We played well and that’s the way we need to carry on. I thank the boss for his words, and for giving me these chances. Now I have to work hard all through the preseason to get ready for the start of the campaign”.
“Competition is healthy and we have to enjoy this preseason. The whole team played well, and the youngsters did really well considering so many were playing their first games”.
“The idea is to get playing time. We struggled at first because we’ve had a lot of tough training sessions this week, but we were able to compete well. I got to wear the captain’s armband for a while and I’m really happy about that”.
“I am working hard to make the most of my chance to stay here at Barça. But it’s the coach who has the final word”.
“We played well and have to carry on along those lines. We didn’t start off that well, but the team regrouped and we did well in the end. Now we have to continue working”.