Outgoing Barcelona boss Luis Enrique admits “I needed to leave and I think the players needed it too” after Saturday’s Copa del Rey Final triumph.
Enrique ended his three-year spell in charge of Barca with a third, straight Copa, courtesy of their 3-1 win against Alaves at the Vicente Calderon, but the Coach insisted he had no regrets about his decision to step down.
“Many things can happen in a Final, regardless of how you’ve prepared for game, but we quickly took the lead and they equalised just as quickly,” he said at a Press conference.
“We did what we usually do at the end of a season, we’re a big family and when we win a trophy, we dedicate it to the fans, who supported us in great numbers.
“I don’t have anything to criticise, neither do I believe that anyone can criticise me.
“I don’t know what I’ll do in the future yet. It depends on which offers come my way. I see myself changing sport and doing well. It’s a humble brag!
“My daughter, who is seven years old, asked me to jump onto the pitch to celebrate the trophy, so there was more pressure [to make her happy].
“I’ve enjoyed a lot of things here, and when you have the opportunity to win trophies and make the fans happy, it makes you feel very proud.
“I dedicate [this trophy] to my wife and family, who are the ones that have put up with me the most, including every time I got home from losing a game.
“It’s nice to have rivalry, the beauty of it comes from feeling proud and giving your maximum.
“Messi is extraordinary, he’s an extra-terrestrial. I had the opportunity to enjoy the best [player]. He’s No 1 and it was a pleasure to coach him.
“For me, Alaves are undoubtedly the revelation team of the season. Mauricio, who’s a friend and [former] colleague of mine, has done a wonderful job.
“Surely the Coach who comes in will have more experience than me, so I have a few tips for them – enjoy it.
“Messi’s 30 years coincide with 30 trophies. To be the No 1, you not only have to be the best, but you also have to be very strong.
“He’s a player that takes great care of himself. He doesn’t need to use his physique in one-on-ones. There’ll be Messi for a while yet.
“There are good foundations for Barca to do something great next year.
“I’ll be another Cule in the stands. Aleix [Vidal] deserved his minutes. Alcacer and Andre [Gomes] are top players and showed it.
“I needed to leave and I think the players needed it too. They showed the ambition they had. We’ve come back to lift a trophy. We wanted to give more to the fans.”