Barcelona manager Luis Enrique did watch the UEFA Champions League draw that paired his club against Bayern Munich in the European cup semifinals. "I wasted five minutes of my life", he joked during Friday's press conference. The boss is aware of the magnitude of the encounter with Pep Guardiola and the ultra-talented German side, but he would rather focus on another very important match: Saturday's La Liga derby against Catalonia rival Espanyol.
For Enrique, the only game that matters right now is the one happening this weekend. And he is prepared to face another tough challenge in the seventh game of the April Marathon. Here's a few highlights of his conference statements:
About Saturday’s derby with cross-town rivals Espanyol:
"There is only one game and it's the one this Saturday. It's a derby, with everything that it means for the fans. It’s a key day for us."
"Víctor Sánchez is an important player for them. We know him well because we developed him, but any Espanyol player will be very motivated. We must be aware of what's at stake and of what we do against our opponents."
"Espanyol are defending well. They defend as a unit and we’ll have to have a good day to get past them."
"I worry about their transition and Sergio García, who we also know well and is their most talented player. It's a great matchup."
"We will be very intense because this match requires it."
Home stretch of La Liga:
"This is the final stretch and the team’s mood is key. I see them in a very positive dynamic."
"I think the top teams will drop some points and hopefully it won’t be us. On ability alone we can win, but it going to be very difficult."
On the semi-final against Bayern:
"It's a special game because Guardiola is their coach. It will be the first time he comes back to face the Club. It will also be special for the players."
"We’ve played 10 matches in the Champions League and we’ve won nine. We’ll be out to win both at home and away. Our approach is clear."
"Guardiola is the best because he’s won so many titles, because of the way he did it, and because he’s adapted to another country with a very difficult language and he’s implanted his ideas."
That's the coach we need. Yeah, the Bayern thing is great, but that means nothing if we lose in La Liga. Focus, people! Focus!