Luis Enrique says he is “optimistic” that Lionel Messi and Neymar will both feature for Barcelona in Sunday’s Club World Cup final against River Plate.
The pair missed the 3-0 semi-final victory over Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday through injury, but reports in Spain over the last few days have claimed that they will return against the Argentines – a view seemingly shared by their Coach.
“I’m always optimistic [referring to Messi and Neymar],” he said at a Press conference.
“Our quality means no-one needs to be at 100 percent, but they must be at 99%.
“[River Plate] is very attractive final. I saw River do everything well [against Club America]. They have great potential.
“All finals have two readings. One makes them more dangerous and another allows you to influence the game and apply pressure.
“The two favourites are in the final, but we saw in the semi-finals that surprises can be the order of the day.
“It’s a game to enjoy, and the team are in very good shape. Winning it would be the icing on the cake.
“This trophy identifies the club as the best of the 2014-15 season. It would be the culmination [of our efforts]. It’s one of our major objectives.
“[River] will go out and play football. It won’t be far from what a Spanish or European rival would pose him.
“River stands out as a unit, but if I had to pick out invididuals then [Carlos] Sanchez, [Rodrigo] Mora, [Lucas] Alario, [Matias] Kranevitter … without forgetting my former teammate [Javier] Saviola.
“I don’t expect a particularly physical match. River like the ball and have their players press high, but it will be a tough final mentally.
“I have the feeling of having more to lose than gain.
“We’re always made favourites so we’re used to that label. The players know that this game is rarely played.”