Luis Enrique claimed “the only team I don’t want is Barcelona” in Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw after the Catalans eliminated Arsenal.
Barca maintained their hopes of becoming the first team in history to defend the Champions League, courtesy of a 5-1 aggregate victory over the Gunners, and – speaking after Wednesday’s 3-1 win in the last-16 second leg – Enrique was just happy his side would avoid themselves in the next round.
“I’m very happy and I congratulate the fans for coming on a difficult night,” he said after the game.
“We’re delighted that Messi, Suarez and Neymar are our strikers.
“The greatness of these players is that they all have the same objective. We need to attack and defend at the same level.
“To reach the quarters nine times in a row means the club are doing well. It makes us cules feel proud.
“The only team I don’t want is Barca, and it’s assured that we won’t face them.
“[On Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s performance], I like all of my goalkeepers.
“He was spectacular at all times. We have goalkeepers who are decisive and very complete, which is why we signed [Claudio]. Bravo. Both he and Bravo give more-than-optimal performances.
“[Javier Mascherano] is one of the players who exert the most influence on the team. He doesn’t just contribute on a footballing level.
“[On English teams struggling in the CL], they’re not getting the results they should level with the players they have and signings they’ve made.
“I was surprised it was the first time City had reached the quarters.
“It’s something to analyse, but it needs a lot of data and time to carry out.
“[On Bayern Munich’s comeback], I’m happy for Pep [Guardiola], he deserves it.
“His teams never give up and they had a very difficult tie. Last year we had to beat all the champions, so this draw will surely bring us more surprises.”