Luis Enrique directs dig at Xavi as he’s ‘definitely’ more suited to Barcelona – ‘without a doubt’

Lewis Oldham
PSG vs Barcelona
Luis Enrique fires dig at Xavi.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Luis Enrique has defiantly insisted that he is better suited to manage FC Barcelona than rival manager Xavi.

PSG have been drawn to face Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals. The Ligue Un giants will host the Spanish outfit at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.

“Without a doubt, it’s me…”

Ex-Barcelona boss Enrique will come up against his former side as he attempts to guide PSG into the Champions League semi-finals.

Club legend Xavi is Barcelona’s current manager but he announced in January that he is planning to leave the La Liga giants in the summer.

They have declined since lifting the La Liga title at the end of last season but it has recently emerged that Barcelona’s board want Xavi to remain in charge beyond the end of this season.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s game, Enrique has suggested that his coaching philosophy fits Barcelona more than Xavi’s.

“Without a doubt, it’s me,” Enrique told reporters.

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“It’s not an opinion, look at the statistics, in terms of possession, chances, pressing, trophies…

“Others might have a different opinion, but it’s definitely me. My love story with Barcelona goes back many years, but my profession comes first.”

When pressed on whether his knowledge of Barcelona and Xavi will be an advantage for PSG, he added: “I’ve known him (Xavi) as a teammate, as my player, but not as a coach. I know the club very well, but I don’t know whether it’ll be an advantage.

“Nobody can say that this Barcelona team is weak, they are strong. They’re doing well going forward, they have good players, and they’re a club with a lot of experience, having already won five titles. It’s not easy, but I’m feeling motivated.”

“Let’s see what happens…”

If PSG are to beat Barcelona to progress in the Champions League, World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe will likely need to produce the goods for his side before his expected move to Real Madrid on a free transfer is finalised.

It is being widely reported that Mbappe will join Real Madrid upon the expiry of his current contract but former PSG boss Luis Fernandez reckons he will stick around if they win the Champions League this season.

“No. The season is not over and there has been no official confirmation,” Fernandez said during an interview with Sport.

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“It’s like with coaches, the only one who has said he is staying is Xabi Alonso at Leverkusen and the one who has said he is leaving is [Jurgen] Klopp.

“Xavi is unknown, although I would like him to continue. From Mbappe, we have to wait. They’ll say it.

“For now, what I can say is that he has been at PSG for seven years playing wonderfully, with a great attitude.

“Let’s see what happens. PSG will win the League and are in the Cup final. If they win the Champions League… I don’t rule anything out.”