Luis Enrique said he would not be attending Monday’s Ballon d’Or gala despite the Barcelona coach being the clear favourite to win the World Coach of the Year award.
Luis Enrique was speaking after Saturday afternoon’s 4-0 stroll past Granada at the Camp Nou, when Lionel Messi underlined his status as the favourite to pick up the top player award at the Ballon d’Or ceremony with a hat trick.
“I will not be at the Ballon d’Or gala,” he told reporters at a post-match news conference, before turning his attention toward Messi’s exceptional talents. “Messi is a unique player and there won’t be another one like him. Team goals motivate him year on year.”
Luis Enrique also reserved praise for versatile youngster Sergi Roberto, who turned in an assured central midfield display as Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta rested on the bench, along with Arda Turan – finally a Liga debutant for Barcelona after the club’s FIFA transfer sanctions expired.
“I like Roberto’s approach in midfield, playing with few touches and an ability to get us between the lines,” he said. “He also has good defensive work. Midfield could be the ideal position for him but he has strong competition. He will be a vital player for Barcelona.”
On Turan, who crossed for Messi’s opener and had a hand in the third goal, Luis Enrique added:
“I saw Arda play very well. It is different when you play in Barcelona and have to adapt to your teammates. I am very happy with the performance.”