Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says future unaffected by PSG thrashing
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has not made up his mind about whether he will remain in charge next season but his team’s thrashing by Paris St Germain will not affect his decision, he said on Saturday.
Luis Enrique has eight trophies in his two-and-a-half years in charge and has led Barca to a third consecutive King’s Cup final but he came in for heavy criticism following Tuesday’s harrowing 4-0 loss to PSG in the Champions League, the club’s heaviest defeat in a major competition since 2013.
Doubts hung over his future before the Parc des Princes meltdown as he stalled over talks to extend his contract, which expires at the end of the season.
“What happens in these months will have nothing to do with my decision, not one game, not two or the 38 games in the league. I still haven’t taken it,” Luis Enrique told a news conference on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s La Liga game against Leganes.
“Criticism has no effect on me, if it did then I wouldn’t have been able to stay in this job for almost three years. We are our own fiercest critics, the ones who most want to improve. Everything else is just a circus.”
Barca are on the brink of their earliest exit from the Champions League since 2007 but can get their bid to catch Real Madrid at the top of La Liga back on track when they host struggling Leganes.
Barca are second in the standings on 48 points and have played two games less than Real but Luis Enrique is still optimistic about their title chances.
“It’s a different game for us after what happened on Tuesday, a good opportunity to see the team’s response from a difficult situation,” he said.
“In football everything is exaggerated but I still don’t think everything is black or white. We are still alive in three competitions, we’re struggling a bit in one of them but we have a small chance. In the other two we’re more than alive.”