Luis Enrique: “I was happy with all of them”

Luis Enrique: “I was happy with all of them”

Luis Enrique was very happy following FC Barcelona’s thrashing of Levante UD (5-0). However, he did not want to draw any conclusions about La Liga. “We’ll talk about our league position later, we’ve hardly played any games yet,” he said.

The boss was content to yet again have a clean sheet, making it 4 out of 4 clean sheets so far, and stressed that it is the result of the hard work put in by the entire team. “Goes to show even more our idea of playing as team … Rather than singling anyone out in particular, I’ll just say that I was happy with all of them.”

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

LUIS ENRIQUE DOES NOT ANNOUNCE THE STARTING LINEUP

LUIS ENRIQUE: “I want my players to know… …that I won’t marry anyone …at the moment”

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Luis Enrique: “Always stay focused on the next game”

Luis Enrique: “Always stay focused on the next game”

“Always stay focused on the next game,” that was Luis Enrique’s message to his players on Saturdays’s pre match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Levante UD. The coach insisted that all people should be focusing on the next game, and that “general evaluations can be left until the end of the season.” Lucho continued, “The idea is to beat them. And depending on how we do, we’ll see where we stand. I haven’t been worrying about having to play seven games in 21 days. There’s only one game that we can control at the moment, and that’s the next one. My message to the players is to always stay focused on the next game.” More from the Asturian after the jump.

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Luis Enrique and players react to Barça-APOEL

Luis Enrique and players react to Barça-APOEL

Luis Enrique’s men earned an important three points against APOEL on Wednesday, but it was far from a comprehensive victory. While the game may not have been much to watch, it touched on a number of key issues for the season and left the Barça coach with plenty to say.  Xavi Hernandez,Dani Alves, and Marc Bartra – all returning to the starting lineup – added comments of their own. Read on below for more.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

WITH THE MASIA ON THE BRAIN: 1

WITH THE BUS ON THE PITCH: 0

LUIS ENRIQUE: “Cruyff made Cruyff-isms, Guardiola Guardiola-isms, and I make Masia-isms”

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Luis Enrique: “We need the fans”

Luis Enrique: “We need the fans”

The wait is finally over. FC Barcelona are hours away from facing Cyprus’ APOEL FC in this season’s first Champions League game as Luis Enrique and his players start their journey towards glory. The coach has called upon the fans to come and support the players at Camp Nou ahead of the long-awaited return to the European stages. “We need our fans and we’ll try to give them a spectacular game … Three points against APOEL FC would be very important for us.” Continue reading for more.

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Pedro: “I”m happy with the way things are going”

Pedro: “I”m happy with the way things are going”

The FC Barcelona striker, Pedro Rodríguez, spoke to the press ahead of the first game in the new UEFA Champions League campaign beginning against APOEL Nicosia FC and stressed that the team is motivated and eager to do better than last season. Pedro is yet to score but he is optimistic, “I might not be getting goals, but I’m happy with the way things are going and I’m sure they’ll start coming. The important thing is that the team is working well”.

The Canary Islander spoke of Luis Enrique’s ideas saying that “the basic idea is still the same. Perhaps we should try to get closer to the area and not play so wide. But we feel comfortable with our game, we’re doing fine … The boss has asked us to create pressure up front, to win back the ball and keep it for ourselves. We’re doing that well and teams don’t create many chances against us. But there’s a lot we have to improve”.

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Luis Enrique “Messi is outside all praise”

Luis Enrique “Messi is outside all praise”

FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique spoke with the press after Saturday’s game against Athletic Club. He said that he was happy with the teams performance and heaped praise on Messi. The Basque side made life difficult for the Catalans for nearly the entire match but then Messi assisted two chances that Neymar Jr slotted home to end the match 2-0 for Barça.

During the post match conference, Luis Enrique praised the game of Messi saying that Messi is not just the best player in the world for the goals he scores, or for his assists, but for everything. He is the best player in the world even in defence, that is the perfect version of Messi. Messi is outside all praise.” He also added that, “He does things you do not see even in Oliver and Benji [a childrens' cartoon], or the Playstation, what he does touches the impossible. We have got used to it, but it is a delight and a privilege to have the best player in the world in your team. Without a doubt.”

Read more from the Barça boss after the jump.

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Luis Enrique: “Everything about Athletic worries me”

Luis Enrique: “Everything about Athletic worries me”

Luis Enrique spoke very fondly of FC Barcelona’s La Liga opponent, Athletic Club Bilbao, following the end of the international break. “Everything about Athletic worries me. They’ve been playing well for several seasons. They’re the best team at creating attacking pressure. It’s always very motivational to be able to play Athletic,” he said. Luis Enrique will not be expecting Athletic to sit at the back, but to attack aggressively and provide a real test for the defenders. Continue reading for more.

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Rafinha: “I know I can do better”

Rafinha: “I know I can do better”

Rafinha Alcántara has been impressive since he returned to the club this summer, starting both league games, against Elche CF and Villarreal CF. However, Rafinha confessed, “I know I can do better and give more. It’s hard to play for Barça and you always have to try to improve.”

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Adriano: “I’m feeling fine now”

Adriano: “I’m feeling fine now”

FC Barcelona defender Adriano Correia (29) spoke in Wednesday’s press conference where he talked about the changes under new coach Luis Enrique. The full back, who suffered a heart-rate problem that kept him sidelined for several weeks, has returned to full training and looks like he’ll start playing once again. “It was quite a fright when they discovered that I had cardiac problems” he said. “A lot of things go through your head. In a clinical sense, I knew that I was in good hands. And I have a lot of faith and am thinking about it less and less with each day … I’m feeling fine now. The issue has passed. It could be solved and now I’m back training 100% and looking forward to getting started and enjoying my football.” More from the Brazilian after the jump.

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Managing La Masia: The quiet makeover of Barça B

Managing La Masia: The quiet makeover of Barça B

Much has been made of the overhaul Barcelona’s first team has undergone this summer. 2014 has seen the departure of Victor Valdés and Carles Puyol, over 150 million euros spent in the transfer market, and what feels like a return to Pep Guardiola’s values with Luis Enrique. In particular, much has been made of Luis Enrique’s use of the youth team in preseason and the first two Liga games, in which 19-year-olds Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez each made their first-team debuts and scored.

A statistic making the rounds of late shows that Luis Enrique has already featured Barça B players more than Gerardo Martino did all last season. With Luis Suárez still banned and a sulking Gerard Deulofeu shipped out on loan, culés are delighted to have a seemingly ceaseless conveyor belt of talented youths to fill the gaps. Indeed, Barcelona B is brimming with talent in nearly every position, and seems perfectly situated to supplement the first team through the 2015 transfer ban. The timing couldn’t be better. Yet amidst the overwhelming focus on Luis Enrique and Andoni Zubizarreta’s renewal of the first team, few have drawn attention to the quiet work at Barcelona B over the last few years that have brought these talents to the surface. Read on after the jump.

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Key players facing fitness test

Key players facing fitness test

Amid the pause in the Liga season due to international matches, Luis Enrique is busy preparing for the upcoming match against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou. Learn more after the jump.

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Luis Enrique satisfied with UEFA Elite Club Coaches forum

Luis Enrique satisfied with UEFA Elite Club Coaches forum

FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique took part in the UEFA Elite Club Coaches forum for the first time in his coaching career, and the experience was definitely enjoyable for him. Read more after the jump…

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New Mou preaches mutual respect

New Mou preaches mutual respect

José Mourinho, despite having been an FC Barcelona employee in the past, is definitely not a favourite at the Camp Nou. However, this time around the so-called ‘Special One’ seems to have put his feelings for Barça aside, as he has openly expressed his appreciation for new Barça coach Luis Enrique. Lucho did of course return the nice words by wishing the Chelsea coach good luck. Read more after the jump…

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Luis Enrique in Nyon

Luis Enrique in Nyon

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has flown to Nyon, where he will participate in the UEFA Elite Club Coaches forum, which is organized annually by the European association. ‘Lucho’ also got the chance to meet an old friend in Switzerland. More after the jump…

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Cartoon of the day: Sport

cartoon of the day sept 2 2014

LUIS ENRIQUE: STEP BY STEP

DIEGO SIMEONE: MATCH BY MATCH

CARLO ANCELOTTI: EMBARRASSMENT BY EMBARRASSMENT

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Quote of the day: Piqué on la Roja selection

Quote of the day: Piqué on la Roja selection

“I want to thank Del Bosque for the gesture he has made, because I asked him, personally, not to count on me for the game, because I still had some issues. I want to thank him for his decision.”

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Luis Enrique: “The youngsters are helping us so much”

Luis Enrique: “The youngsters are helping us so much”

Once again, a Barça B striker has helped FC Barcelona win all three points early in La Liga’s title race, and this time it was Sandro Ramírez with the winning goal. In his post-match presser, Luis Enrique was overjoyed with the influence these young stars are having on the first team as they show the world the quality of players La Masia continues to produce. “I’m pleased to see that the youngsters are helping us so much. We are happy for him [Sandro] and with all of the hard work that the young players are doing.” Continue reading for more from the boss.

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Picture of the day: Douglas’ first training

Picture of the day: Douglas’ first training

Living the dream, Douglas. Living the dream.

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Luis Enrique: “Every game is a new test”

Luis Enrique: “Every game is a new test”

Luis Enrique spoke to the media on Saturday morning regarding Sunday afternoon’s game against Villarreal in El Madrigal. This is the team’s first away game this season, and the coach believes that they are “one of the strongest teams in the league.” Lucho added, “We know the opponent and the venue. They have a good coach who has made good signings. It’ll be an attractive game for us and we’ll have to get things right in attack.” 

The team will travel Sunday morning without Andres Iniesta who will be left out as a precaution after hurting his left knee. However, Neymar Jr will be included after the coach confirmed that he is fit and ready to play. He also added, “Every player offers something different. I already have the team picked, but not even the players know what it is yet.” More from the coach after the jump.

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Mascherano: “We still haven’t seen the best of Messi”

Mascherano: “We still haven’t seen the best of Messi”

Fresh off signing a contract extension, Javier Mascherano sat down for a revealing interview in which he discussed the pain of the World Cup final, Luis Enrique’s coaching style, his Argentine teammate Leo Messi, and that black cat at the Elche CF game. Read what he said after the jump.

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Rakitić: “Lucho told me to shoot from outside”

Rakitić: “Lucho told me to shoot from outside”

Newly signed Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitić spoke in Thursday’s press conference ahead of Sunday’s away game against Villareal CF opining that, “It’ll be difficult because Marcelino makes his teams work very hard, but we just have to focus on ourselves. We’re very positive about the trip”. Rakitić also felt that “it is very important for people to realise that we’re making progress. There have been a lot of changes to the team in every area, but you can tell that we’re constantly improving.” More from the new signing after the jump.

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Luis Enrique invited by UEFA to Nyon

Luis Enrique invited by UEFA to Nyon

Luis Enrique will be one of the coaches invited to the 16th edition of UEFA’s ‘Elite Club Coaches’ Forum’ which will take place at one of the UEFA headquarters in Nyon (Switzerland) on the 3rd and 4th of September. The last time FC Barcelona was represented in this forum was during 2012 by late manager Tito Vilanova, who was coach at that time. Also notably, this will be Luis Enrique’s first participation in the annual event which usually takes place before the start of the prestigious UEFA Champions League.

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Luis Enrique: “Barça fans have gone home happy”

Luis Enrique: “Barça fans have gone home happy”

Luis Enrique was delighted with his first game in charge of FC Barcelona, a strong 3-0 win at home to Elche CF. Goals aside, the match was full of promising signs for the “Lucho era” including high pressing, quick passing, and sparkling performances by debutants Munir El Haddadi and Ivan Rakitić. “The game had a little bit of everything,” Luis Enrique said. “Elche were very organised at first but we gradually started creating chances and showed what resources we’ve got.” Javier Mascherano’s red card “made the game harder for us” according to the Asturian manager, “but we knew we had to take less risks, then individual actions in attack helped us.” Read more quotes from the boss after the jump.

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The history of Barcelona – Elche

The history of Barcelona – Elche

Before last season, FC Barcelona and Elche CF hadn’t played each other in nearly 25 years. But before that, they were frequent opponents for the Catalans, and not without success: Elche has beaten Barça 8 times at home, and drawn 7 out of their 20 games at Camp Nou. Read more about the history of Barcelona vs Elche encounters after the jump.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

FIGHT, RUN AND WIN;

NOW BEGINS THE SEASON OF…

LUCHO’S CLUB

LUIS ENRIQUE: “I am not Guardiola but… fasten your seat belts”

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Luis Enrique: “Nobody will beat us in terms of hope and determination”

Luis Enrique: “Nobody will beat us in terms of hope and determination”

Starting today, La Liga kicks off it’s new season, and Luis Enrique has given his final press conference ahead of Barça’s first league encounter against Elche. “It has been a great week in terms of the team dynamic and we are going into the game in the same buoyant mood as we did before the Gamper,” said the Barça boss before adding, “We know Elche will pose us problems because tactically and defensively they’re such a well-structured unit.” More from the Asturian after the jump.

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Xavi: “Things are looking good”

Xavi: “Things are looking good”

Xavi Hernández gave a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Liga curtain raiser against Elche CF to be played at the Camp Nou. Xavi said that he is very optimistic about the upcoming season. “I’m more motivated than on my first day because I like what I’m seeing. The squad is working really well under Luis Enrique. If you could see how the team is training you’d know that things are looking good.” Xavi also said that the team is fulfilling its objective in each training session.

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Mascherano: “It is our duty to fight”

Mascherano: “It is our duty to fight”

A motivated Javier Mascherano talked to the press following the team’s morning session on Wednesday and discussed the recent transfer ban, Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, the upcoming season, and much more. The Argentine plans on giving his all once again for FC Barcelona, and it appears that the team is ready for what’s coming. “It is our duty to fight in all competitions and get as far as we can.” Read more after the jump.

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