Café con leche: Only the result matters

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Luis Enrique shields players

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was pleased at his team’s win at La Rosaleda, but was not entirely happy with the performance, as he told journalists during his post-match presser. “The first half was so imprecise, lacklustre. It’s difficult to remember such a bad first half showing from us,” said a clearly disgruntled Lucho. The coach refused to play the blame game though when asked about individual performances. “The players aren’t machines, today it’s been a general thing, we can’t focus on one player alone,” said the coach, who went on to add that “it’s enough that the players showed a clear desire to win.”


Café con leche: Tricky trip to San Mamés

Luis Enrique in a Suit

Lucho wary of Athletic Club threat

Barça travel to Bilbao on Wednesday for the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter finals and Luis Enrique concedes life has been difficult for him at the San Mamés“They will try and make home advantage count, but we will go out to win the game, without thinking about the second leg,” he said before adding, “I never had an easy game at San Mamés and if they made things hard for us tonight with 10 men, imagine what it’ll be like with 11.”

Lucho confessed that even with 10 men the Basque club was dangerous and the team had to give it their best to win the game. He said, “The incidents changed the game completely and the tactical plans we had went out the window. It was a comfortable game for us but we still needed to work hard and stay in our positions. It was much easier for us obviously but we still had to do our job, we were only 2-0 up at half-time. We had to finish them off after the break and we did that.”


Café con leche: Muscles, Machos & ‘Murder’


A fair analysis from the boss

Luis Enrique freely admitted the red card “changed the game completely” and made it “more comfortable for us“. As stated in the match review, Lucho also agrees that while the controversial triple-punishment is “excessive” these are the rules. The Barça boss however warned that the game will not be the same Wednesday night in Bilbao. “This game will be useless as far as analysing it to teach the players what we can do to hurt Athletic in the Copa del Rey game because having an extra man is a huge advantage. You could see their intensity on the first chance they had. There are no easy games against Valverde because of the way they play. That’s what we’ll see at San Mamés. ” Not only will they have 11 men, Aritz Aduriz will be available.

Otherwise Luis Enrique confirmed that Lionel Messi was removed at the half to be cautious around some discomfort he had in his right leg. “It looks to be nothing serious but I preferred not to risk it“.


Zubi: “My greatest defeat was Guardiola’s departure”

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Andoni Zubizarreta was never a man of many words. The Basque-born former club goalkeeper may have spent the best years of his career playing for Barcelona’s Dream Team, lining up amongst superstars and playing for legendary coach Johan Cruyff, but it has never been easy to get him to talk at length about things. Even when he was sacked by Barcelona in January 2015 in a not-so-nice way, Zubi didn’t speak a word. That’s why his most recent interview to Madrid-based sports daily Marca is a very interesting piece, and one we deemed worthy of translating.


Café con leche: Post Ballon d’Or


Barça dominate with best player and coach

FC Barcelona dominated at the FIFA gala with Leo Messi grabbing his fifth Ballon d’or, yes five! Luis Enrique also won coach of the year, however Lucho was not present at the Gala. Alongside these two were Dani Alves, Neymar jr. and Andrés Iniesta. Neymar came in 3rd after Cristiano Ronaldo beat him to 2nd place in the Ballon d’Or. Alves, Neymar, Iniesta and Messi all made it to the FIFA FIFPro World XI for 2015, however there were some noticeable absences such as; Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Luis Suárez, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitić to name a few. Culés should enjoy the moment and wait for what will happen this season. Visca el Barça!