Luis Enrique in the press room at the Stadio Olimpico / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

The UEFA Champions League is back as Europe’s premier club competition returns with the FC Barcelona first team in Rome for their first fixture of this season’s group stage. Luis Enrique and Jordi Alba appeared before the press on Tuesday with the Barça coach warning that the label of favourites “has to be demonstrated out on the field, and that is tough. When the ball starts to move there are no champions, no favourites, just 32 teams who all want to win,” pointed out Luis Enrique.

Other statements from the coach:

The opposition

“The Joan Gamper Trophy game is not a reference point because it was pre-season, there was not that intensity and Roma have added players since then.”

“I expect a Roma side similar to the one that played against Juventus in their second game of the season. A Roma that pressures, plays with the ball and creates chances and that was better than Juventus.”

Defending the title

“The objective of winning the second consecutive Champions League is not added pressure, it’s a marvelous stimulus for the fans and the team. We will try but it is not added pressure, quite the opposite.”

“If we were favourites for having won the league, we are also favourites for having won the Champions League. You have to show it out on the field and here is the difficulty. When the ball is in motion there are no champions, no favourites, just 32 teams who all want to be champions.”

The team’s form

“At the start of the season we have been playing really well. Coaches and players always try to repeat good performances. We are always looking to be better.”

“The Super Cups that we have played for what we did last season, we accept that, but we have been competing at a high level since August. I would have preferred a less demanding calendar.”

“Messi is the best player I have ever coached. Not just the best player in the world for me, the best in history.”

Returning to Rome

“Going back to Rome means remembering positive and interesting things. The memories I have are positive but the important thing is the competition.”

“My style is to keep working and enjoy my career as a coach that has good and bad things.”

Press conference Luis Enrique by fcbarcelona

Rudi Garcia: The objective is to get a positive result

Before Luis Enrique's appearance in the press conference, his opposite number at Roma Rudi Garcia spoke to the media. The AS Roma boss said: "The objective is to assure a positive result. We can play in different ways and we are ready."

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