Barcelona coach says he's more radical than defender Pique

Indo Asian News Service

Barcelona, April 1 (IANS) FC Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique on Saturday said he considered himself far more radical than defender Gerard Pique and preferred not to comment on the footballer's criticism of Real Madrid's values.

During a press conference on the eve of the La Liga clash against Granada, the coach pointed out that he prefers not to talk about the remarks of Pique, who recently stated he does not like the values of rival Real Madrid, reports Efe.

Enrique backed the Barcelona defender, noting that Pique's statements are in line with his personality and the opinion of the Spaniard should be respected, as the player respects the opinion of others.

Pique was absent from Barcelona training on Saturday with permission from the coach for rest and will not appear against Granada on Sunday.

"We are giving a crucial player a break as he has played with his national team and has played a lot of football with us," the coach explained.

Enrique touched upon the FIFA sanction imposed on Argentine forward Lionel Messi, who has been suspended for four international matches for behaviour against a referee in the Argentina-Chile game.

"He is a player who doesn't generate controversy; even though he is the best in the world," Enrique underlined with reference to the Argentine star.

As for the absence of Messi from the Granada clash due to the accumulation of cards, the coach stressed that the absence will not change the tactical style in Sunday's match.

The coach warned that Barcelona struggled to beat Granada 1-0 in the first round of La Liga at Camp Nou.

"We are going into this game aware of the difficulties we face because of the break and the fact we are playing away," Luis Enrique added.

Barcelona hold the second position in the La Liga with 63 points, two points behind league leaders Real Madrid, while Granada are in the penultimate place with only 19 points.

--IANS

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