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Sports

Barça President Bartomeu and Iniesta Back Luis Enrique

"Luis Enrique is the manager we want," the president told reporters. "He's done really well and we're satisfied with his work. There's no Plan B. The priority is still for Luis Enrique to continue"

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique looks dejected, Parc Des Princes, Paris, France, photo: Reuters/Christian Hartmann Livepic
By Reuters Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
4 months ago

BARCELONA — Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and club captain Andrés Iniesta have given their full support to under-pressure coach Luis Enrique, who was booed by fans during Sunday’s 2-1 home victory over Leganés.

Luis Enrique has steered Barcelona to eight tournament triumphs since 2014 but is set for an early Champions League exit after the 4-0 last-16 drubbing at Paris St Germain last week, the most humiliating defeat of his coaching career.

Yet amid speculation that the coach may not now sign a new contract once his current deal expires this summer, Bartomeu offered him a resounding vote of support on Monday.

“Luis Enrique is the manager we want,” the president told reporters. “He’s done really well and we’re satisfied with his work. There’s no Plan B. The priority is still for Luis Enrique to continue.”

“Remember that we’re in one final and there’s still a lot of the season to go and things to improve.”

Barcelona are in the King’s Cup final on May 27 and remain second in La Liga, a point behind arch rivals Real Madrid who have two games in hand.

Yet Barca were still struggling on Sunday, needing Lionel Messi to convert a 90th-minute penalty to beat Leganés.

Iniesta acknowledged the defending Spanish champions were rattled after the defeat to PSG but backed the coach and team to restore the side’s winning mentality.

“We have not lost confidence in ourselves nor in the manager,” Iniesta told reporters. “I think it’s a one-off situation we’re going through.”

Iniesta said it was understandable the team carried a Champions League hangover into the Leganés match.

“We knew it was going to be difficult after what happened in Paris. We’re humans and these things affect us.”

ADRIANA GARCÍA

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