‘Cillessen must match incredible Bravo’

Luis Enrique says Jasper Cillessen must match the “incredible” Claudio Bravo for the sake of Barcelona’s goalkeeping rotation and their “sporting success”.

Cillessen arrived as a direct replacement for Manchester City-bound Claudio Bravo midweek, and despite administrative delays preventing the Dutchman from featuring against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, Enrique wasted no time in laying down the gauntlet to his new recruit.

“The fact [Athletic] have limited choice in the market means we can see them similarly [to how we did last season],” the Coach said at a Press conference.

“With regard to the match, our first thought is to enjoy a setting like San Mames, and then we’ll focus on the complications.

“We’re going to face a team that will surely pressure us and play long balls. They’re a hard-working team, I really like them and I’ve never had an easy game against them.

“[On the transfer market], as I’ve said before: the squad that I have is very good and I’m happy with what I have.

“I only talk about the players I have in my squad. Here, you sign to win trophies.

“[On Munir El Haddadi leaving], the decision rests with the player. Some have stayed and turned around their situations, such as Sergi Roberto who now plays. Others, however, haven’t.

“And in other cases, there have been players who have gone out on loan and returned to play [for us].

“It depends on what the player wants. For [Sergi] Samper, I think he’s chosen well by going to a team where the Coach banks on football.

“[Claudio] Bravo has been incredible in his two seasons. He’s a very professional goalkeeper and unique person who has contributed a lot to a goal that, with the departure of [Victor] Valdes, was in doubt.

“I’d also like to highlight the excellent performance of the three goalkeepers [we had].

“They were perfectly-behaved, competitive and exemplary. I hope it’s the same with our new goalkeeper because the most important thing is sporting success.

“The formula we’ll use in goal this year will only be successful for the quality of our goalkeepers, their behaviour and professionalism.

“[On Ter Stegen starting], I won’t rule anything out. In football, I’ve lived through it all.

“The starting line-up for each game is determined by the performance of the players each week.

“The Champions League doesn’t measure a team over a season, that’s what the League is for.

“Still, the Champions League is demanding and we start against one of the favourites [Manchester City] and with the curiosity posed by [Pep] Guardiola and Claudio Bravo returning.

“[On Paco Alcacer], I won’t talk about players who aren’t in the squad.”

Tags Luis Enrique