Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique doesn’t feel under pressure to repeat last year’s Champions League victory. ‘It’s further motivation for us.’
The holders begin the defence of the trophy away at Roma, the site of the 2009 European Cup win and a former employer of Enrique.
“I return here a few years older and after a normal process of growth for a Coach,” the trainer told a pre-match Press conference.
“There are only four players left who were with my Roma, so it’s impossible that anything remained from that team. So much time has passed. This is Rudi Garcia’s Roma.
“I didn’t blame anyone for what happened at Roma and I can’t even remember all the details now. It was my decision to resign. Life goes on.”
Regarding Barca’s attempt to become the first Champions League-era team to retain the Cup, Enrique admitted his side were the front-runners, and was asked about Lionel Messi.
“It’s not added pressure, in fact it’s further motivation for us. No side has ever managed it, we know that, but it’s absolutely not pressure on our shoulders,” he continued.
“There are 32 teams who are all fighting for that trophy. When you start a tournament, I like to have the due respect for reigning champions, so yes we are the favourites.
“I consider Messi to not only be the best player in the world right now, but the best player in the history of football.”