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Luis Enrique on new Champions League season: 'We're no longer champions'

Alex Caparros/Getty Images

As Barcelona gets ready to defend their Champions League trophy from next season, coach Luis Enrique does not think about the past and wants to start a new chapter in his own story.

Talking to the press before Barça's UCL debut against AS Roma on Wednesday, the Asturian manager made it clear that his team is not the favorite to win the European Cup, but it's just another one of the 32 clubs looking for glory this season. He also talked about some memories about his only season with the Rome side, and more. Here's a few highlights from his presser:

The opposition

"The Joan Gamper Trophy game is not a reference point because it was pre-season, there was not that intensity and Roma have added players since then."

"I expect a Roma side similar to the one that played against Juventus in their second game of the season. A Roma that pressures, plays with the ball and creates chances and that was better than Juventus."

Defending the title

"The objective of winning the second consecutive Champions League is not added pressure, it’s a marvelous stimulus for the fans and the team. We will try but it is not added pressure, quite the opposite."

"If we were favourites for having won the league, we are also favourites for having won the Champions League. You have to show it out on the field and here is the difficulty. When the ball is in motion there are no champions, no favourites, just 32 teams who all want to be champions."

The team’s form

"At the start of the season we have been playing really well. Coaches and players always try to repeat good performances. We are always looking to be better."

"The Super Cups that we have played for what we did last season, we accept that, but we have been competing at a high level since August. I would have preferred a less demanding calendar."

"Messi is the best player I have ever coached. Not just the best player in the world for me, the best in history."

Returning to Rome

"Going back to Rome means remembering positive and interesting things. The memories I have are positive but the important thing is the competition."

"My style is to keep working and enjoy my career as a coach that has good and bad things."


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