Luis Enrique criticises Super Cup format despite Barcelona win

  • Reuters, Barcelona
  • Updated: Aug 18, 2016 23:57 IST
Barcelona's Lionel Messi is embraced by coach Luis Enrique. (REUTERS)

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique questioned the point of playing the Spanish Super Cup after his side kicked off their season with a comfortable two-legged win over Sevilla in the competition.

Barca won a double of La Liga and the King’s Cup last season and got their 2016-17 campaign off to a strong start by beating Sevilla 3-0 on Wednesday at the Nou Camp to clinch a 5-0 aggregate win for their 11th Super Cup title.

The Spanish Super Cup has existed in its current format since 1982, pitting the winner of La Liga against the winner of the King’s Cup. In the case of a team winning the double, as Barca did, the winner of La Liga take on the runners-up of the King’s Cup.

A brace from Turkey international Arda Turan and a header from talisman and stand-in captain Lionel Messi sealed the 3-0 win at the Nou Camp and delivered the only trophy Luis Enrique had yet to lift in his two-year spell in charge at the club.

The coach said the players had enjoyed winning their eighth trophy since he took over in 2014, but also questioned its importance.

“We like winning every trophy and you could see that in the intensity of the players, but I also don’t understand why we played the Super Cup,” Luis Enrique said on Thursday.

“When someone wins the league and the cup playing the Super Cup doesn’t make any sense. Of course it’s good business but it doesn’t make any sense.”

Spain remains the only top European league to play their equivalent competition over two legs, and Luis Enrique criticised the country’s football federation for sticking to the same format.

“Football cannot be rooted in the past or by archaic methods,” he added.

“You have to evolve, improve, that’s what players and coaches do and decision makers need to do the same.

“If they don’t, you create a big mess.”

One negative from Barca’s otherwise comfortable win was a hamstring injury to Javier Mascherano, who has been ruled out of action for a week and will miss the opening league game against Real Betis.

Andres Iniesta and Jeremy Mathieu sustained injuries in the first leg, and have been ruled out for two and three weeks respectively.

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