Barcelona president: Luis Enrique will have ‘long career’ at Camp Nou
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has launched a staunch defense of Luis Enrique, saying the current coach will have a "long career" at Camp Nou.
Luis Enrique’s future at the club has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, with speculation he was set to be fired after a reported feud with Lionel Messi came to a head when the Argentine was left out of the team for the defeat to Real Sociedad on Jan. 4.
Both the coach and Messi have since denied rumors of tension in the camp and four convincing victories in a row â along with Bartomeu’s decision to call for early elections â have provided temporary respite at the club.
Bartomeu says the club was always comfortable with Luis Enrique’s managerial approach and is expecting him to have a lengthy reign in charge.
He told Barca TV: "Luis Enrique is the ideal coach. He will have a long career at Barca. We hired the coach with the aim that he would make things right. He is integrating the players well and with Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, we possibly have the best attack in the world. They are the envy of other clubs.
"We know Luis Enrique very well and we know how demanding he always is. He and Messi denied everything that was said. The idea of our play still remains the same."
Bartomeu reiterated there was no prospect of the club considering selling Messi, a man he thinks should always win the Ballon d’Or despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s second straight triumph this month.
"Messi is perfect in every way," the president said. "They would have to give him all of the Ballons d’Or for how he is and how he plays football. He is the world’s No. 1, although the awards were handed to others. He has a huge desire to win it all this year. I was with him and he is happy. He is having a magnificent season. He is our leader and acts as such. We have Messi for many years and I see no option to sell the player, nor any of his teammates."
Barcelona faces Atletico Madrid in the first leg of a Copa del Rey quarterfinal series Wednesday at Camp Nou.
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