Luis Enrique was speaking to the press after training on Saturday / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

[[DES_1]]The Camp Nou is preparing for one of the biggest attractions of the year as FC Barcelona entertain defending Liga champions Atlético Madrid. Speaking the day before the match, Luis Enrique told the press that tomorrow’s opposition are a clear candidate to win everything this season. “Last season Diego Simeone was saying at this stage that he didn’t think his team were real contenders for the title” said the Barça manager. “But he ‘tricked’ us. Now he’s saying the same thing again, and we’re not falling for it."

"They play very well as a unit" he continued. "And they are very dangerous from set pieces and on the counter attack. Not only that, but they will be an even bigger threat following the signings of Fernando Torres and Cani." We have been working especially hard on set pieces this weekLuis Enrique expects the same kind of game as the six encounters between the two sides last season, which ended in five draws and one win for Atlético. “Only this time there will be a different result” he said with confidence. “It’s an attractive challenge. I find it very interesting. We’re higly motivated for this game … We’ll need to control Atlético and that means attacking well, in an orderly manner, with strong ideas and make sure that they don’t get chances from set pieces. We have been working especially hard on set pieces this week, examining plays and watching videos. It’s always especially difficult to defend high balls.”The day I feel that my players aren’t behind me will be the day that I leave. But that is not something that I have ever felt the need to doAs for the turmoil surrounding the club this week and the many rumours appearing in the press, Luis Enrique preferred not to comment. “There are so many spiteful comments and speculations going around, and if I was to confirm or deny any one of them, then I’d have to do the same thing for all of them” he explained. “And that’s not my game. It’s a dangerous game and I don’t intend to play it.”

Besides, getting involved in these issues would be of no benefit to the team, and the Asturian insisted that he feels fully supported by every member of his squad.  “The day I feel that my players aren’t behind me will be the day that I leave” he said. “But that is not something that I have felt the need to do at any stage of my career.”

He ended by saying that “our fans aren’t daft, and they’re also getting fed up with everything that people are saying. What we need to do is work hard to make the Barça fans happy.”

Minute's silence for Paris victims

At the Camp Nou on Sunday, as at all other grounds in La Liga this weekend, there shall be a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of this week’s attacks in Paris

Back to top