Luis Enrique insists Barcelona “are starting the new season as the team to beat” after their Gamper Trophy victory over Sampdoria on Wednesday.
Goals from Lionel Messi (x2) and Luis Suarez secured Barca a 3-2 win in their annual season curtain-raiser, which was particularly special as it celebrated 25 years of La Blaugrana’s first European Cup triumph against Sampdoria, also their opponents on the night.
“I see the team with overwhelming ambition,” the Coach said after the game.
“We still have things to correct, but I think we’re starting the [new] season as the team to beat.
“I’m very happy with how the season’s looking. We’ll see if we can manage [our expectations].
“I liked almost everything [about our performance], against a team who had played very well in preseason and pressed.
“Another team would have been routed, but instead we suffered until the end to win.
“It’s never easy to play your first game at Camp Nou, especially if you’ve only had a few training sessions.
“I was only worried about the physical tone of my players during preseason. In that sense, we still need time because we had a special season [in 2015-16].
“Some players started later because of their holidays and that was sometimes seen in the errors we made.
“[Lucas Digne] was very good and he’s a very strong player physically. [Arda Turan] can play in different positions, doesn’t lose the ball and almost scored.
“The debate never ends here [about the goalkeeping situation]. I manage this issue very differently from other teams and will continue to do so.
“We’ll arrive well for the Supercopa against a team who have reinvented themselves but we still know perfectly well.”