Enrique: Messi will stay

2015-01-15 09:13
Lionel Messi (Getty Images)

Barcelona - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique expects Lionel Messi to remain with the club "for many years" amid widespread reports of a rift between the pair.

Messi was said to be unhappy with Luis Enrique's management style and tactics, prompting speculation he could seek an exit and reportedly sparking interest from English Premier League sides Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

The Argentina forward has said he is not planning to leave the club he joined as a 13-year-old but has not explicitly denied claims he has fallen out with the coach, who took over from Gerardo Martino at the end of last season.

Given the four-times World Player of the Year's influence at Barca, it is widely expected that Luis Enrique will be the one to leave, particularly as the man who appointed him, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, was sacked this month.

"We all think - and he has expressed the same thing several times - that Leo is going to stay at Barca for many years," Luis Enrique told a news conference ahead of Thursday's King's Cup last-16 second leg at Elche.

"That is what all of us 'cules' (Barca fans) want," added the former Barca and Spain midfielder.

"I don't see why - well, I do but I don't understand why - there is so much talk about it when we are not even considering it."

Barca have a 5-0 lead over Elche from the first leg at the Nou Camp and are on course for a likely meeting with Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals.

Diego Simeone's men beat Real 2-0 at the Calderon last week and play the return at the Bernabeu on Thursday.

Luis Enrique said Barca's dressing room was united and everyone was focused on bouncing back from last season when the club failed to win major silverware for the first time in six years.

"We are all together," he told reporters. "We discuss things we can improve and how we can damage our opponents, as always. A normal and logical dynamic for any soccer team." (Additional reporting by Elena Gyldenkerne, writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond)

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  luis enrique  |  lionel messi  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.