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Luis Enrique eyes year out of football after Barcelona

Luis Enrique says he is ready to follow the example of predecessor Pep Guardiola and take a sabbatical when his time as Barcelona coach comes to an end.

Last season, Luis Enrique emulated his former Camp Nou team-mate Guardiola by winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in his first campaign in charge.

Guardiola went on to collect a total of 14 major honours in four seasons as Barca boss but spent 12 months away from football before taking the reins at Bayern Munich from the 2013-14 season onwards – a policy Luis Enrique seems to see merit in.

“When I leave Barca I’m sure I’ll take at least a year off,” he said in an interview with Barca TV, where he outlined his ambitions to steer another golden period for the club.

“We have to keep improving,” he said. “This team has what it takes to break records. We’ve got some really attractive challenges ahead of us.

“Being praised constantly weakens you. You have to develop every year.

“The biggest challenge is to keep winning and kicking on in every competition.”

Luis Enrique explained that he likes to foster a close relationship with his players and to involve himself in a positive dressing room atmosphere.

“I like to be close to the players and listen to what they’ve got to say and feel,” he added.

“Then I make decisions from a coach’s point of view, thinking about what’s best for the team. The players are smart enough to understand that.

“I like there to be a good atmosphere in the dressing room, for music to be played before matches. We have to entertain the fans and have a good time ourselves.”

The defending champions lie top of La Liga but a 2-2 draw against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday allowed Atletico Madrid to pull level on points.

Barcelona will learn their round-of-16 opponents in the Champions League at Monday’s draw in Nyon.

Sun 13 Dec, 2015
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