Luis Enrique Has a Message For Players That Aren’t Playing

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Big teams like Barcelona are not satisfied with winning one title only. Winning the treble is the number one objective.

But it’s not easy to win three titles per year. We’re talking about 60 games per year, and players lose form if they’re not rested every now and then.

That’s why every world class team needs world class substitutes also.

No one likes the idea of sitting on the bench every game, instead of playing and moving forward with your career. But if you want to make a change, you need patience and hard work.

Xavi was close to leaving Barcelona because he was rarely a starter when he joined the first team from Barcelona B.

But he just couldn’t imagine himself wearing a different jersey.

“At Euro 2008, I was told the club wanted to sell me. Real Madrid were winning and us, nothing,” Xavi recalls.

“I go to the national team knowing that if a good offer comes in, the club will sell me. I spoke to my agent and there was an offer from Bayern. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wanted me.”

“But then we hired Guardiola and I had a great tournament. Pep told me not to move, that he couldn’t imagine the team without me, and I’ll enjoy it. I was captivated.”

Before Guardiola came, Xavi wasn’t considered as a future key player. Rijkaard had a different philosophy, and he insisted on physically strong midfielders. And Xavi was everything, but not a strong midfielder.

“But it’s funny, if you Google it you’ll find a lot of ‘Rijkaard didn’t trust Xavi.’ No! What happened was the dynamic of the environment was negative. ”

“Everyone wanted us to have a strong double-pivot midfield. They wanted it like the French, with Patrick Vieira and Claude Makelele. They didn’t want us, small and technical.” – Xavi.

What can we really expect from Alex Vidal?

He was brought from Valencia as a replacement for Dani Alves, but Vidal couldn’t live up to his potential. Enrique was happy to give the new right back a chance to fit in, but he couldn’t find his form.

Luckily, Enrique had Sergio Roberto put even more pressure on Vidal and even take his place permanently.

Siting on the bench has no positive effect on Vidal, but Enrique had to replace him if he failed to perform game after game.

He used the pre-game press conference for Wednesday’s game against Atletico Madrid to send a message to the players that aren’t playing regularly.

“What do all the players have to do? Improve their performances individually and collectively. That’s my message for everyone, because we all make mistakes — players and managers — and have to improve.”

“Regardless of if they’ve had a rest or not may players always seem happy. They enjoy training and competing and we will distribute minutes with regards to the games and the schedule.”

“I’d like to have all my players playing all the time, although that’s a utopia because it’s not easy when you can’t pick everyone, but that’s my task.” – Enrique.

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