Luis Enrique reiterates Barcelona “are more than a club” after the ban on Esteladas in Sunday’s Copa del Rey final was lifted – but not only for Catalans.
Barca won their appeal for the ban on Estelada flags – typically associated with Catalan independence – being waved at the Vicente Calderon to be revoked, and Enrique felt “the most logical decision” was made as he looked ahead to his side’s match against Sevilla.
“Everything has a beginning and an end,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“We’re looking forward [to the final]. I see the team very well. The last three weeks without [midweek] matches have helped us to work on things.
“[Sevilla] have enough motivation to forget about any possible fatigue.
“They won the Europa League brilliantly and have the chance to win a double, which would be important for them.
“[On Monchi], when there’s success, it’s not only because of one person.
“[Sevilla] also use their youth academy and have a great Coach. They’re a specialist team for finals.
“They turn around difficult situations, and there will be a match regardless of who’s ahead on the scoreboard.
“The [European] Super Cup was strange because there were players who had just one week of training behind them.
“There was a physical issue, and ultimately we weren’t at the level we are now.
“Sevilla play well against us. They counterattacked us and beat us at home [last October]. They always make things difficult.
“[On suffering], which final have we not suffered? Sevilla are in a great state of confidence, but I’m optimistic that we will win. Still, our opponents will be in the game until the last minute.
“[On Dani Alves], you have to see Dani in training as well as matches. He’s a born competitor and a winner.
“[On Esteladas], I’m not surprised about anything in this country. I think that, ultimately, the most logical decision was made and one which respected the freedom of expression.
“It’s one of the most beautiful games of the season and always a stimulus.
“It’s special because it’s a case of ‘all or nothing’ for 90 minutes, but we’re relatively used to these games and we’ll treat it with enthusiasm and respect for our opponents.
“I have a feeling that the season will end very well [on Sunday]. We’ve won many trophies and it’s normal that the fans have got used to [us winning trophies] and appreciate them less.
“Nonetheless, I still see fans on the streets celebrating our successes with great joy.
“They’ll be more bad times, but certainly this cycle will be remembered.
“I don’t like mixing politics and football. The club are more than a club for many reasons, but especially for our understanding of football, our attacking play and issues related to the game.
“The club are more than a club, not only for Catalan society, but also for Asturian fans, Andalusian fans, Japanese fans or Chinese fans.
“We have the idea that we’re more than a football club. After that, we respect all ideologies within the freedom of expression, but all of that doesn’t necessarily equate to violence.”