FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted coach Luis Enrique will stay on next season despite the coach refusing to commit to the club after wrapping up a treble of titles on Saturday.
Barca’s 3-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final meant they became the first team to win their domestic league and Cup and Europe’s elite club competition in the same season on two occasions, repeating their feat from 2009.
Luis Enrique is coming to the end of the first year of a two-year contract but was clearly unhappy with the sacking of sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, the man who appointed him, in January. He fended off several questions about his future at a news conference after Saturday’s final, saying he was only focused on celebrating the treble.
The uncertainty has been amplified by a looming presidential election, and a new chief in place of Bartomeu might want to bring in his own man.
Bartomeu told Spanish radio on Monday he would offer Luis Enrique a contract extension if re-elected. “There is no need to suffer, Luis Enrique will continue,” Bartomeu said. “His season has been 10 out of 10 and there is no reason to break the contract,” he added.
Barca celebrated their magnificent season with an open-top bus tour through the Catalan capital on Sunday. The streets along the route of the bus were lined with fans desperate for a close up view of their heroes, as well as the three trophies. The bus took several hours before it finally reached its destination.
The celebrations culminated in a spectacular party at the giant Camp Nou arena. In front of 98,000 supporters, the players, led by coach Luis Enrique and veteran midfielder Xavi Hernandez, offered the Champions League, Copa del Rey and Primera Liga trophies to the fans.
Eyeing more history
Having bagged their second treble, Barcelona will aim to become the first team to defend the Champions League title.
Enrique capped his first season as Barcelona’s head coach by matching Pep Guardiola’s feat from the 2008/09 season when the Catalans captured the European, Spanish league and cup titles.
Enrique says their hunger for silverware is insatiable and they want to make more history by becoming the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles. “This is our 60th match (this season) with six defeats and four draws,” said the 45-year-old. “Those figures show that this has been one of Barcelona’s best campaigns. In the last ten years, this has been the most successful club in Europe. These players have shown hunger for victories and they’ve shown they enjoy it so much, we have to nourish them with more titles.”