Luis Enrique was keen to stress the word “incentive” in his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Manchester City at Camp Nou in the Champions League. “It’s a great incentive to not only be vying for first place but also against Guardiola’s team. It’s always an incentive to take on teams coached by friends,” he added.

The inevitable questions about his opposite number were greeted with replies full of praise for the former Barça player and coach: “For me he is the best current coach. I love attacking coaches like him. Since preseason you can see the influence of Guardiola on [Manchester] City. He has a big part to play in his teams and they will want the ball, the same way that we do.”

As ever, the battle for the ball in midfield will be particularly relevant. “There are games against opponents in which possession is not that important. It will be against Manchester City, but that does not mean that who has more possession will win.”

Even though the game is an important test for his side, Luis Enrique was well aware that nothing will be decided on Wednesday, no matter what the outcome is.

"It is a good chance [to move ahead in the group] but then we have to go to Manchester. It is the third game in the group and when this is over, there will still be three games left. Nothing will be decided yet,” he concluded. 

Delighted with recent contract extensions

Luis Enrique could not his delight at the recent spate of contract extensions in his squad. "A few weeks ago it was Sergio, this Monday it was Mascherano and on Friday it will be Neymar. It's great news for the Club, for the coach and for the players as it means they are happy here. We all end up winning," he said.
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