The coach says he’s trying not to think about events at the Vicente Calderon, while praising Andres Iniesta for what he brings to the team
Luis Enrique says the Madrid derby on Saturday is a lose-lose situation for Barcelona as he wishes both Real and Atletico could be defeated.
If Carlo Ancelotti’s men win then they will go seven points clear of the Catalans, who play Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, while Diego Simeone’s side can draw level with Barca if they win at the Vicente Calderon.
“I do not focus on what others do,” he told reporters. “I expect nothing. I wish I could see what I’d like to happen will not happen: they both lose.
“A draw would be fine. There is still a lot of the season left though.”
Luis Enrique similarly tried to avoid being drawn on the debate Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu has sparked, after he hinted earlier this week that Real Madrid could be behind the court case the Blaugrana have become embroiled in over the signing of Neymar.
Bartomeu has been charged with attempting to defraud the Spanish tax payer of €2.8 million during the acquisition of the Brazil star from Santos in the summer of 2013, but the current Barca boss gave little away when quizzed on the subject.
“Who knows what’s happening,” the coach added. “In this country, anything’s possible in that regard. It would not surprise me.
“I cannot guarantee that’s the case, but nor can anyone. I try not to read or see anything aside from sport. I keep out of the controversial situations. All I see are football matches.”
The former Roma and Celta boss also leapt to the defence of Luis Suarez, whose lack of goals have drawn criticism recently, while singing Andres Iniesta’s praises.
“Suarez is a top player and he brings a lot to the table, not just goals,” Luis Enrique continued.
“I am particularly pleased with the form of Iniesta, he’s got surpassed quality and he’s overflowing with creativity when he plays.”