squad | 2016-10-18
Luis Enrique: "Formation? It could be anything. We can play with 6 defenders as well."
Luis Enrique gives an insight of what to expect against Manchester City and his relationship with Pep Guardiola while Piqué talks about the team and personal decisions.
Luis Enrique and Gerard Piqué discussed the game against Manchester City in their press conference today. The full transcript of their presser can be read below:
Luis Enrique: "City is more dangerous with Pep? When we prepare the game we analyze the rivals and solutions. City is more dangerous. The team looks very attractive and they play attractive football. They have great players. City are different now compared to the last time. New players have come in. They will generate more problems now.
Am I similar to Pep? Coaches don't play the game, it's the players. I was lucky to play with Pep and share the locker-room with him. It's great to see Pep again, it's a game against friends. Knowing him personally doesn't mean that I know how he manages his team.
I can't think of a better game for any football fan to watch tomorrow. This is a special game but it's not decisive, we have more matches to play.
Managers must make the most of the players they have. Pep's Barça was great and we are similar because we both play good football. Pep was good because he had good players? It's a life of the manager- if we win it's because anyone can do it but if we lose then we are to blame. Pep's Barça played at a fantastic level no doubt.
Pep is the best? Well, I value my friends and he is a good friend. He is the best manager- his mindset is incredible. I don't know if Pep is the best in history because I don't know how they managed teams before. Pep is the best now in modern football.
My aspirations? I don't set objectives for myself. Go to the EPL and coach? It's a good league but I don't know. I'm not interested in the future.
Bayern and City similar? I haven't compared it. No doubt, City will be a very different City to the one we played before. City is suited to Pep's system? Ask Pep that. I have analyzed him as a rival coach and his weak points but if you want know about his system then ask him these questions.
Piqué was supposed to leave Spain in 2014 and I convinced him to stay? I knew he was going to say this. He is a great player no doubt and I think he can make his own decisions regarding his future.
Is possession important? Yes 95% of games we win possession so it's important. Ball possession is going to be important. We have to be better than the rivals but having possession doesn't mean we will win the game. Our objective is not to leave any players disconnected. We will contemplate everything in our attack and defense. We don't want to isolate any players but it can happen. It's not our objective. Formation? It could be anything. We can play with 6 defenders as well. Anything is possible.
The trident? Good news that they're all back. Great to have Leo back especially. Alba and Roberto? Both are ready and fit. Messi? We visualize the best scenario for him. We have to dominate and I hope the players enjoy him- I don't only focus on one player. Messi generates a superiority. He can move around in all positions. We will do anything to benefit the team.
Pep will convince Messi to leave? We haven't talked about Messi's future. Pep didn't say anything.
Neymar renewal? All good news. Busquets and Mascherano also renewed. Great news for everyone and they are happy.
As a fan whose Barça is better? I like both. We wear the same shirt and the fans can enjoy Pep's or my Barça."
Gerard Piqué: "Luis Enrique or Pep? It’s difficult to compare them. In the first two years they were both here at Barça, they won the same. They both won the treble, they both won two La Liga titles. On a personal level, I get along with both of them.
Luis Enrique came the year after Tata [Martino], when the team was down. Pep came the year after [Frank] Rijkaard, also when the team was down. They are very similar.
We are in another golden age for Barça and I hope we can keep it up.
Pep has made them [City] change their approach to football. It’s similar to our style. They bring pressure up the field, they create pressure on the outlet.
Is City a threat? It’s a different team than under Pellegrini. They create pressure differently, more like us. Pep understands the game like we do.
Of course, we want to win and be first. The objective is take a big step. If we win tomorrow, we’re essentially guaranteed a spot in the last 16. It’s key. The team is comfortable playing with three at the back, I don't know if we'll play with three or four tomorrow.
Pep was an influence on all of us. There was a before and after. He changed the history of this Club. I have nothing but praise for a coach who gave everything, and who gave me a chance here. We have great memories.
Would I like to play in another position? No, I have the most fun playing central defender. When I'm bored then I like to attack.
I’m not getting tired, I like playing every three days. I like to help out the team as much as possible. Even with Sam [Umtiti] and [Jérémy] Mathieu out I am happy to play more.
Normally I set short-, middle- and long-term goals. We’ll see how it goes. It depends on your legs. Motivation is key. I have two years to have fun with Spain and try to win the World Cup. And with Barça we’ll see how many years I can go.
I like that we have more access to the game, more TV, the leagues in Germany, England, France, around the world. Before it was very tough, just Spain. I like the global game, seeing all the players, as a fan it’s great. Something I don’t like is the culture of focusing on the stuff that goes on outside the lines. But maybe it sells more and that’s why the media focuses on it.
How can Pep stop Messi? Ask Pep. Messi is the best in the world. His mere presence makes a difference.
Motivation is everything. I was close to quitting Spain, quitting Barça, and just walking away. You have enough money to live the rest of your life. After the 2014 World Cup, I didn’t have any passion. I spoke with several coaches and decided to keep going. Maybe it was because I won everything at a young age. Then they spoke about Luis Enrique coming, bringing in some fresh air, trying to get back as one of the best teams in the world. I wanted to be a part of it, and now I’m at the peak of my career, having fun.
City coming after our players? Pep has another job now. It’s normal for a club with money to try and get players, whether from Barça or otherwise. It’s not strange. It’s not like because Pep’s from here, and he’s part of the family, that he can’t go after players from here. It's no surprise they want to sign the world's best players.
Messi? Leo looks good. He’s the best in the world. The best in history, in my opinion. But Argentina doesn’t win everything, it’s not just him. We all have to play well. But he does make a difference. I think Messi is the best in the world, no doubts. He gives us a lot, if he's 100% or 10%. Just his presence on the pitch means a lot.
Neymar? He has great potential, he is still young, let's hope we can enjoy him here for many years.
Did I watch Manchester united vs Liverpool? No, sorry.
I’ve read that Twitter, stories in Marca, AS, or Florentino’s puppets forced me to retire from NT, but it wasn’t like that. I made this decision myself."
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