Luis Enrique has said the reason Pedro Rodriguez didn’t start for Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup was because of a hamstring injury.
Pedro was expected to be included from the beginning when Neymar went down with the mumps, despite it being widely reported he was about to join Manchester United.
Instead it was Rafinha who got the nod to join Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the front three, only for Pedro to come on as a late substitute and score the winner in a 5-4 epic.
“Two days ago Pedro retired from training with a sore hamstring. I’d take the same decision again. Everyone knows the situation,” the Coach said, AS reports.
“I understand people are very interested in this issue. I do my job as Coach in the best way possible. I understand the Press doesn’t agree with my decision. I do my job and have no comment.
“I don’t need to elaborate on my work and I have nothing more to say on this topic.
Rafinha? I expected what we saw, with the difficult situation of Pedro.”
Regarding the match itself, Enrique offered a philosophical take on his side giving up a 4-1 lead.
“Football often surprises. We were behind after the first play, then we soon equalised,” he pointed out.
“It’s very difficult to win trophies and games. There’s a lot of merit to this one. We’re very happy.
“I’ve seen a game this crazy but not a final. It was a Cup match against Atletico Madrid. And a final is more important.
“We didn’t know what to expect. It’s an example of what it takes to win trophies. It was spectacular for the fans. I’m happy with the fans and players who made a great effort.
“Now we have to recover and think about the Supercopa de Espana.
“At 4-1 the opponent has nothing to lose, but we have to think about what happened. They got into the game with a penalty and moves from the flanks. It already happened to us in the League against them.
“I didn’t fear penalties. We knew what Sevilla were like. They played well, we were taken to extra time, but we recovered and re-took control of the game.
“Georgia? The pitch was fantastic but it’s a bit far. Everything was very well organised.”