“I'm from Gijón but I consider myself a part of Catalonia. I’ve been fortunate that people like me here,” Luis Enrique said at his press conference. There were scattered giggles from the press.
"Don't laugh, perhaps not here, no, but away from the press room, yes."
Luis Enrique is a controversial figure these days, but here’s something we can all agree on: he’s quite funny. It’s not just what he says, but how, always dry, sometimes with a betraying grin.
He brings out his deadpan sense of humor every now and again, but in the buildup to el Clásico, Lucho has been on fire.
Perhaps his best line was when talking about how much liked his current squad. "I have the best squad I've had in 3 years, but the coach is the same bum as always."
When Carlos Clos Gómez was tasked with refereeing the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Madrid media were annoyed because Real has, coincidentally or not, struggled in matches refereed by Clos Gómez.
A journalist asked: “Do you like Clos Gómez?”
Luis Enrique: “Physically, you mean? I don’t remember if he’s tall or short, blonde or tan. Good question. Let’s go for Bingo now.”’
Did you catch that last part? Lucho doesn’t care if you did.
He’s under pressure again, but he remains cool: "In my job, you're either an optimist or you might as well throw yourself out the window."
"Pretending like criticisms will end if we beat Madrid is being naive, they exist and I would even say they are necessary,” Luis Enrique reflected. Though in a different answer, he retracted a bit: “maybe I exaggerated about some of those criticisms being necessary.”
How is he so unbothered by the massive event? Maybe here’s a clue, again, delivered with deadpan humor. A journalist asked him his favorite moment from his time in Clásicos.
“I’ve played so many Clásicos, I have so much experience, so I don’t know. It’s all the same. I don’t have a favorite moment.”
He’s kidding, clearly. He once called Barcelona’s 6-2 win over Real Madrid “a footballing orgasm.” He didn’t even play that one.
But asked about the 5-0 under Pep Guardiola, Lucho feigned ignorance: “I don't remember it at all, but I would like to repeat it."
There’s another joke before a Clásico, from last year, actually, that’s my favorite. A journalist asked whether Luis Enrique was worried about losing.
“No. I worry about losing like I worry about whether I had fish or steak for lunch. I had fish, right?” He glances over.
An assistant answers, deadpan. “Fish.”
Luis Enrique directs his sight back to the press. “Fish,” he says, with authority.