Paris St-Germain v Barcelona: Luis Enrique says he represents Barca’s values better than Xavi

Luis Enrique won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2015

Paris St-Germain manager Luis Enrique says he represents the values of former club Barcelona better than current boss Xavi before the sides meet in the Champions League.

Luis Enrique won the Treble in 2015 during three seasons at Barcelona.

Xavi won more than 20 major trophies as a player at the club and La Liga in his first full season as manager last year.

“I represent the Barca way better, although others may have different opinions,” said Luis Enrique.

“Just look at all the stats and the trophies won.”

Luis Enrique, 53, spent the past eight years of his playing career at Barcelona, before coaching the side between 2014 and 2017 in which Xavi was playing.

Xavi played more than 500 games for the club and returned as coach in November 2021 but is set to leave at the end of the season.

“I have to say that I don’t know Xavi at all as a coach, only as a team-mate and as a player because I worked with him,” said Luis Enrique.

“I know Barca very well and I know their players but I don’t know if that is an advantage or not.

“Emotionally this means a lot to me because of my experiences there.”

Five-time champions Barcelona are playing at this stage of the competition for the first time in four years and Xavi thinks his side are in a good moment.

“It is a key moment. The word after being out of the quarter-finals for four years is excitement,” said Xavi.

“We can dream again. We think we are at the best moment of the season, but we have one of the best teams in Europe in front of us, with one of the best coaches in Luis Enrique. It is a team built to win the Champions League.”

Xaxi added that he had a “great relationship” with Luis Enrique and the club can be proud of the “Barca DNA” that he shares with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

“From here on it’s up to the players to find the DNA that identifies us so much,” said Xavi.

Football is unpredictable but we’ll try to control the variations. Luis Enrique has a wide range of talent at his disposal but we’ll try to play them [PSG] as equals.”

2024-04-09 18:31:12
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