Luis Enrique has warned Barcelona that they will be facing “one of the best teams” in La Liga when they travel to Villarreal on Sunday.
Victory at El Madrigal would seemingly leave the Catalans en route a second straight League title as Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 defeat to Sporting Gijon the day before means Los Colchoneros could fall 11 points behind, but the Coach refused to get carried away with the result.
“The level Villarreal are at, not only at their own stadium, make them one of the best teams in the League,” he said at a Press conference.
“They almost play by heart and almost perfectly dominate all aspects of the defensive side.
“[On Atleti], we knew beforehand that we’d play a difficult rival. The positive is that it doesn’t surprise us.
“We don’t like to play against teams from the same country, but it’s normal.
“If we reach the semi-finals, we know we’ll be playing another tough team.
“[Andres Iniesta] has some slight discomfort. We’ll evaluate him [on Sunday] and whether it’s worth him traveling or not. I don’t like taking risks, and less so with Andres.
“[On Marc-Andre ter Stegen], I take all decisions as if my players will be here for 150 years. I work for the club. I don’t think about the individual level.
“[On Denis Suarez], it doesn’t matter what a player does in a game. We value all our assigned players during the course of the season.
“[On Rafinha], we’ll decide with Dunga whether he can go to the Olympics or not.
“He’s almost recovered and nearing perfect condition. This is great news for us that he’s already [almost] recovered.
“We’ll help him, he’s very important to us. The months went very quickly, although certainly not for him.
“Now comes the best part of the season. We’re ready to win all the trophies and there’s everything to play for.
“There’s less and less points at stake and the calendar weighs a lot for everyone, but we’re continuing with the same mentality. We’re thinking only of the next game.
“I see [Arda Turan] very well, as I always do. We spent the money we spent, and I’m very happy with his adaptation. He gives us a lot and hopefully he’ll provide us with more.
“[On Sergi Roberto for Spain], I think it’s very good. [Vicente] del Bosque has many levels and knows everything Sergi can give.
“[On leaving one day], I have a contract with the club and will be happy to see it through.”