Reports: Five Barcelona players forced Luis Enrique to resign
What’s the story?
Luis Enrique was 'stabbed in the back' by five Barcelona players according to Don Balon. The Spanish publication claim that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets were the players who got the manager to reject the contract extension.
Don Balon have revealed that the five players held a meeting with club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu to complain about the manager. They did not want him to continue as their coach next season and the president informed the same to Enrique.
In case you didn’t know...
Enrique informed the media last week that he will not be continuing at Barcelona after this season. He announced this decision after Blaugrana’s thumping 6-1 win over Sporting Gijon.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he said, "I will not be the coach of Barcelona next season. It is a difficult, measured and well thought out decision, and I think I have to be loyal to what I think. There are three exciting months ahead. We are in a difficult situation, especially in one competition, but with the help of everyone and if the stars align, we can turn that game around. I will give my full dedication in these three months. The reason is the way in which I live this profession. It means very few hours of rest."
The heart of the matter
Reports in Spain now claim that it was not the manager's decision to quit, but he was asked to leave instead. The players reportedly turned against him, and he was left with no choice.
Enrique decided not to sign the 2-year contract offered to him by the board. He was expected to make a decision on his future only after the Champions League 2nd leg against Paris Saint-German, but he surprised all by making the announcement last week.
Barcelona are on the hunt for a new manager to replace the outgoing, Enrique. Jorge Sampaoli, Ernesto Valverde, Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Mauricio Pochettino and also Ronald Koeman have been linked with the managerial job.
Valverde and Wenger have their contract expiring at Athletic Bilbao and Arsenal respectively. This has fueled reports of the two being the board's choices for the vacant managerial post.
If reports are true, then it's a heart-breaking end for Enrique at the club he's won 8 trophies in 2 years. This season has been bad for the Catalan side but it's not a good sight to see the players forcing a manager out.