Luis Enrique insists Barca after trophies not records, claims Suarez happy at Camp Nou
Enrique targets trophies as records tumble during Levante match
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has said he is interested in trophies and not records following Sunday’s 5-0 win against Levante. Sunday’s win at the Camp Nou saw Barca win their 11th match in a row, equalling the club record under Pep Guardiola. Lionel Messi too set a couple of personal milestones after becoming La Liga’s highest assist maker in his 300th La Liga appearance for the club.
Messi, who notched up his 23rd La Liga hat-trick during the course of the match, became the highest assist maker in La Liga history with 106 after he set up Neymar’s opening goal.
Messi also closed in to current 'pichichi' leader Cristiano Ronaldo’s 28-goal haul of the season so far. Messi has 26 goals in the La Liga after trailing the Real Madrid star by 13 goals at one point.
Enrique in his post-match news conference said, “I did not know we had equalled that record. I am not that interested. We will judge that when the season is over. If we win trophies, it will be very good.”
The Austrian coach however hailed Lionel Messi’s inspired display on the day. He said, “I did not change [Messi] because the idea is to enjoy him as much as possible. Against teams who sit back and defend we must have depth and be creative at pace. For Leo to participate a lot is key. When there are people inside it is difficult, but he knew how to solve well all the problems.”
Luis Enrique insists Suarez is happy at Camp Nou
The Barca coach decided to go into the Levante game with eight changes to the squad, which saw summer acquisition Luis Suarez dropped to the bench. The Uruguayan, however, came off the bench to score a stunning bicycle kick.
The manager was happy with Suarez’s performance and insisted it would help the striker’s confidence. Suarez has been unimpressive since his high-profile shift to the Camp Nou and has been linked to a move back to England.
Enrique said, “The objective we set out was to have a deep squad and with a lot of quality. We are satisfied. In the first half we lacked balance, but in the second half we finished off very well. They all wanted to play a part in this run. [Suarez's] goal came after a sensational move by Adriano. He is very happy on a personal level, and that is good news for everyone.”
The game also saw a rare start for Barcelona’s Spanish winger Pedro, who recently spoke of intentions of moving next summer in search of game time.
The manager however insisted that the 27-year-old remains a part of his plan, saying, “[Pedro] has been, is, and will be, key for us. It is impossible to play more, but I know that when we need him he will be there. He brings us a lot of things -- he scores goals, plays well in space ... you never know.”