In light of the passing of a club legend, Barcelona's coach wants to honor him in the biggest stage.
Barça manager Luis Enrique spoke to the press to preview this Saturday's El Clásico against Real Madrid at Camp Nou. The club will pay tribute to the late great Johan Cruyff in many ways: first with a beautiful ceremony before the game, then with a mosaic by the fans as the teams enter the pitch, and finally with the players wearing "Thank You Johan" messages written in Catalan in their kits during the game.
According to Enrique, however, the team also wants to honor Cruyff by deliver a stylish performance and a victory, the best way the Dutch legend would want his tribute to end at Camp Nou. Here is a look at Lucho's quotes:
"Barca have spirit anyway without any doubt, we have to be at our best or else we will lose.
"We are already motivated. We are motivated by playing Real Madrid, they are our biggest rivals. What Johan Cruyff would like, more than tributes, is for us to win the game because we deserve to, by playing good, spectacular football."
"The idea of 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 has been at Barça for a long time. It’s something that has become a part of the club and I hope it stays that way for a long time."
"Our idea of football is all about putting on a show. Not just winning, but winning with style. That’s why we sign a certain kind of player.
"We look for individual flair through command of the ball and a clear idea of how to play. There have been different managers over the years, all with different approaches to the same method. It’s not easy to do.
"Other teams have tried it, but you need to stay faithful to the idea, even when the results aren’t going so well."
"When you go to the theatre you don’t want to see a pathetic play," said Lucho. "When you go to the cinema you don’t want to see a pathetic film. It’s the same when you go to a football match.
"To have an idea and philosophy of the game is what any fan wants. This is what Barcelona wants to do, not just win, but also to put on a spectacle, it unites football fans, we look for individual quality via good use of the ball."
Source: Diario Sport
Enrique also spoke about his main stars, the 'MSN' trio, playing the Clásico on short notice after a difficult round of international matches, and more:
South American players returning: "No I'm not worried by the tiredness of South American players, these types of games generate energy from the players. They came by plane, they didn't run back!"
Transitions: We have demonstrated that we’re a dangerous team in transitions but I prefer to have a game of control and with the ball, there will be transitions in certain stages. I’d rather we didn't have to go through transitions, although I’m not saying that we won’t at certain stages of the game.
Ter Stegen: I have nothing to say that isn't about the game tomorrow, it doesn't interest me or the players or the fans.
Does CL game influence Clasico? It doesn't influence it in any way, we have a squad and important players for the only game that matters, which is tomorrow’s.
Madrid threat: "They have different options and they have the three players in attack, they are the things we have to find solutions to tomorrow. It’s obvious that our chances of winning the game depend on having the ball as much as possible, so we need to have the ball and be effective with it."