Luis Enrique Talks about Messi’s Return, and the Game against Man City


When a player like Messi is injured, the coach is taking all the pressure and responsibility. He is in charge of the team, and he should come up with a strategy that will cover the absence of an important player.

Of course, replacing Messi is impossible.

But when you have Neymar, Iniesta and Suarez in your team, you can easily survive few games without Messi.

However, Enrique made a few mistakes regarding the strategy. Both Iniesta and Rakitic were on the bench against Celta Vigo, and the team was clearly lacking a playmaker.

Gomes was playing, but he’s not yet ready to start instead of Iniesta.

One more mistake that Enrique won’t ever repeat is playing Suarez and Paco together. These two have the same set of skills, but they’re on a different quality level.

Barcelona only needs one typical striker alongside Messi, Neymar or Turan. The good thing is that Enrique quickly realized that Paco and Suarez are not a good duo, and he replaced Paco with Turan.

And of course Turan scored the winning goal against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Messi and Umtiti are back

“The great news is that players are coming back [from knocks], such as Samuel Umtiti and Leo,” Enrique told a news conference on Friday.

“Messi has been with the team since Wednesday now. He came back [to training] looking good, at a good level.”

“When you come back from an injury you need minutes, in both training and in games. I’ll speak to him about [Depor on Saturday], but in principle he’s ready to play, as is Samuel Umtiti.”

“When a player is injured he’s still around, relating to his teammates.”

“Any injury is important and if you’re talking about, in my opinion, the best player in history, anyone would notice his absence and it makes things difficult.

“But the team’s challenge is to overcome that, as we did last season, too. So the situation is still the same, he’s still around, just not taking part, so in that sense, no [his absence doesn’t affect the dressing room].”

Messi will deffinetly get some playing time against Deportivo, but we doubt that he will start the game from minute one.

After the game versus Deportivo, Barcelona will face Man City in the Champions League. This will be a tough game, and Barcelona, like always, will go after 3 points.

It’s still the group stage, and City and Barcelona are favorite to qualify for the knockout stage. But it’s important to finish the group as leaders.

Barcelona is already ahead of City, after Pep’s team draw against Mönchengladbach.

Enrique on the game against City

“There’s only one game for us and that is the game against Deportivo, even more so seeing as we can get points back in the league by winning our game,” Enrique said at a news conference on Friday.

Enrique is only focused on the next game, and he will deal with City after the game against Deportivo.