Barca’s Enrique praises Messi – and Real Sociedad

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FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says that talisman Lionel Messi is still not 100 percent fit, but the Argentine forward can make use of game minutes when Barca play Real Sociedad in this weekend’s home La Liga match.

Barca’s Enrique praises Messi – and Real Sociedad

– includes white flashes –

SHOWS: BARCELONA, SPAIN (NOVEMBER 27, 2015) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FC BARCELONA HEAD COACH LUIS ENRIQUE SPEAKING OF LIONEL MESSI’S RECOVERY FROM INJURY, SAYING:

“I saw him very well, like I think we all saw him. He’s not 100 (percent) or even close. To be 100 percent he needs a more competitive rhythm, but Leo has a low percentage – not that he’s at a low percentage – but he doesn’t need to be at 100 percent to make a difference, you saw that. But this is the normal dynamic of a player who was sidelined for two months and who now needs (match) minutes to place himself in the best possible condition”

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ENRIQUE ON MESSI’S ATTITUDE, SAYING:

“It’s what makes him even greater. The fact that he’s not very interested in sports awards at an individual level and that he’s more concentrated on team awards. This is FC Barcelona, it’s a team, a very big club and while it wins awards, the players will obviously be reinforced by it because in order to win awards you must have a good performance, so it’s a mechanism that nourishes itself. I think it’s great. This should be the mentality of the best players in the world”

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ENRIQUE ON NEXT OPPONENTS REAL SOCIEDAD, SAYING:

“Real Sociedad has an array of players of quality, who can hurt you with the ball. If you don’t take care and you are not defending well you will suffer and now that they have Eusebio (Sacristan, Real Sociedad coach), you can see there’s obviously a plan to achieve, from how they pressure, from which (players) and how the players do it and it will definitely be difficult, that’s where the danger is, in the rival, obviously”

STOREY: Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said on Friday (November 27) that Lionel Messi always makes an impact on the pitch even when, as now, he has not fully recovered from an injury that sidelined him for almost two months.

Messi scored twice in his first start after injury in a rampant 6-1 Champions League victory over AS Roma on Tuesday , a win that ensured Barca go through to the last 16 in first place in Group E.

At home, leaders Barca are chasing a sixth La Liga title in eight years and after hammering Real Madrid 4-0 last weekend, they host Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Enrique said there’s no doubt that Messi will make best use of his minutes on the pitch.

“I saw him very well, like I think we all saw him. He’s not 100 (percent) or even close. To be 100 percent he needs a more competitive rhythm, but Leo has a low percentage – not that he’s at a low percentage – but he doesn’t need to be at 100 percent to make a difference, you saw that. But this is the normal dynamic of a player who was sidelined for two months and who now needs (match) minutes to place himself in the best possible condition,” Enrique told a news conference on Friday.

The Barca coach also said Messi is a team player in spite of his great individual talent.

“It’s what makes him even greater. The fact that he’s not very interested in sports awards at an individual level and that he’s more concentrated on team awards. This is FC Barcelona, it’s a team, a very big club and while it wins awards, the players will obviously be reinforced by it because in order to win awards you must have a good performance, so it’s a mechanism that nourishes itself. I think it’s great. This should be the mentality of the best players in the world,” said Enrique.

With 12 La Liga matches played, a win on Saturday will put Barca seven points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who play at home to Espanyol later in the day.

Real, two points behind Atletico in third, play at sixth-placed Eibar on Sunday.

But Enrique does not underestimate his next opponent.

“Real Sociedad has an array of players of quality, who can hurt you with the ball. If you don’t take care and you are not defending well you will suffer and now that they have Eusebio (Sacristan, Real Sociedad coach), you can see there’s obviously a plan to achieve, from how they pressure, from which (players) and how the players do it and it will definitely be difficult, that’s where the danger is, in the rival, obviously,” said the Barcelona boss.

Barca will be without midfielder Sergi Roberto for the Sociedad game after he picked up a knock against Roma, while centre back Javier Mascherano is available after missing out against the Italian side with a bruised thigh.

Tags : Sociedad, real, messi, Praises, Enrique, Barcas

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