Luis Enrique admits he is hoping Barcelona face Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey final as “I’d still feel great joy” if the Galicians won.
Enrique managed Celta for a season before he returned to Barca in 2014, and the Coach is keen to avoid his former club in the semi-finals, the Catalans’ place in the last four secured by a 6-2 aggregate triumph over Real Sociedad.
“They pressed very well, but when we overcome that pressure, providing we take advantage of the space, we don’t usually mess up,” he said after Thursday’s 5-2 win for his side at Camp Nou.
“They demanded 100 percent of us and are one of the most in-form teams in Spanish football.
“We found it tough at the start, but once we overcame [the difficulty], spaces appeared and these players in space, for their quality and physical level, usually take advantage.
“This win strengthens the whole team. We were very solid defensively.
“Messi played like a midfielder today. He can play however he wants. When the ball gets to Leo, the only thing the players have to do is move and the ball will reach them at the right time.
“Taking off Mascherano? I did so because I love all my players. He took a knock to his thigh and I didn’t want to take any risks.
“I’d like a final against Celta because if we won, I’d be super happy, and if Celta won, I’d still feel great joy.”