Luis Enrique defended Barcelona’s treatment of players after Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza appeared to question their handling of Lionel Messi’s injury.
Messi sustained his latest groin problem during Barca’s 1-1 LaLiga draw against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and Bauza suggested the three-week time frame predicted for his recovery is too short.
He subsequently retracted any perceived criticism of the LaLiga champions in an interview with Sport and Luis Enrique is keen to move on from the controversy.
“The only truth in this story, because there are a lot of different opinions floating around, is we all seek the best for Messi and all the other players in the club,” he told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to face his hometown club Sporting Gijon.
“That’s the objective we are all looking for. It’s always bad news when a player gets injured, dreadful news.
“The best player in the world getting injured is bad news for us and anyone who enjoys watching good football.”
“But I would rather not get involved in the merry-go-round of rumours that would only aggravate the situation further.”
Luis Enrique hopes his players can repeat the strong performances they produced last season when a period of absence for Messi did not derail their march to the title.
“Last year Messi was out for two-and-a-half months and the team responded fantastically,” he said.
“We have a great squad in depth.
“Of course we are stronger with Messi, he is the best player in the world. But we have more than enough resources to beat any team, that’s the reality of the situation.
“We want him to get fit as soon as possible, as with any player who gets injured, but if we want to win titles we need to deal with moments when players are injured.”
Messi’s fellow striker Luis Suarez found himself under scrutiny after Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis shared a picture on Instagram of a bloodied foot sustained in a tackle with the Uruguay star during the midweek match.
Luis Enrique felt the row had been blow out of proportion and insisted there was no ill will on Suarez’s part.
“That’s something I only learnt about an hour ago,” he said. “With such interest in these stories, my only conclusion is that Luis Suarez had no intention of offending anybody.
“But things so often get interpreted the wrong way in this modern world that we live in. I am quite sure Luis Suarez had no intention of offending anybody.”
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