Barcelona - Barcelona's new coach Luis Enrique has promised a fresh start for the
fallen Spanish ex-champions at his official presentation Wednesday,
vowing "attractive, effective" football to make fans smile again.
is a very special day full of hope," said the club's 44-year-old former
goalscorer and B-team coach, who was named on Monday to replace Gerardo
Martino after a trophyless season.
"It is the day we begin to
build a new Barca, a Barca that can have hope, a Barca that gets all the
results we are looking for," said Enrique, who left Celta Vigo to
rejoin his old club.
"I am hoping for a very attractive and very
effective team. That is why I am here," said Enrique, vowing to focus on
tough training sessions and teamwork as well as chasing new signings.
"I think I am capable. I think I can bring positive things to the players and to the club and that is my challenge."
narrowly missed out on the league title in a 1-1 draw with Atletico
Madrid on May 17. That sealed the Catalan team's first season without a
major trophy in six years.
"I hope they put pressure on me every day to compete for titles," said Enrique.
club has already announced the signing of a new goalkeeper, 22-year-old
German international Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from Borussia
Monchengladbach, and the return of Rafinha Alcantara and Gerard Delofeu
from spells on loan.
Enrique promised more new arrivals to try to make Barca's passing game more unpredictable.
just-ended season saw the departures of injured veteran defender and
captain Carles Puyol and two goalkeepers, Victor Valdes and Jose Manuel
Pinto. Enrique said others could follow.
But Argentine star
striker Lionel Messi signed a new contract despite a disappointing
season and Enrique said on Wednesday that the goalscorer was "necessary
"Messi's performance this season has not been
as incredible as it was in some previous ones," Enrique said, but added
that he aimed to help him "find his best form".
He also praised
Messi's countryman and midfield teammate Javier Mascherano, hinting that
he could make a good captain to replace Puyol.
He would not be drawn however on the future of another star of Barca's recent years, Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez.
two-year contract as manager raised excitement after the disappointment
over Martino, who was hired just two weeks before the latest campaign
began following the late Tito Vilanova's sudden resignation due to
Enrique himself scored 109 goals in 300 appearances for
Barcelona in eight years after joining from rivals Real Madrid in 1996,
and also had great success in three seasons as Barca B coach.
succeeded Pep Guardiola as Barca B coach in 2008 and led them back to
the second tier of Spanish football for the first time in 11 years in
his second season, with a record-breaking points haul.
He went to manage Roma in 2011 but left after one season when the Italian side failed to qualify for any European competition.
He joined Celta Vigo in June 2013 and coached them to ninth in La Liga this season, their highest finish in eight years.