Enrique focused on winning trophies after announcing departure

Luis Enrique says he is relieved that it’s now public knowledge he will leave Barcelona when his contract expires in June.

He made the announcement after Wednesday’s 6-1 win over Sporting Gijon, which took the Blaugrana to the top of La Liga, to end months of speculation over his future.

The coach is now looking forward to being able to focus exclusively on adding to the eight trophies he has already won with the club.

“Nothing has changed in the last few days,” he said in a news conference on Friday, when asked if his announcement had liberated him. “I am a little bit relieved, perhaps.

“We can now focus our attention on the rest of the season and what we’re trying to achieve.”
As with Pep Guardiola before him, Luis Enrique says that he is tired after three years in charge at the Camp Nou.

However, he was insistent that the decision to leave was a purely personal one, and that it wasn’t influenced by a souring of his relationship with the players.

In fact, he said his rapport with the players is the best it’s been, adding: “The Barca job is so hard, you have to take decisions all the time and I find it hard to disconnect, to switch off.

“I need to disconnect now. There are some coaches that spend a lot of time in their jobs and enjoy it but that’s not my case.

“I’m not leaving because I’m going to do damage to myself or the team, it’s a personal decision.
“I have a perfect relationship with the dressing room. My relationship with the dressing room now is even better than it was.”

Luis Enrique also said his decision to leave will not necessarily have a direct effect on his coaching staff, with assistant Juan Carlos Unzue among the candidates to take over from him, and claimed he’s not yet sure what his next move will be.

“I don’t know what will happen in the future,” he replied when asked if he will take a one-year sabbatical and if he could one day seem himself working in the Premier League.

“What I know is that my wife won’t put up with me in the house for one, two or three years, regardless of the weather [in England]!”