Barcelona coach Luis Enrique stressed Andres Iniesta remains a key figure for the Catalans, suggesting Andre Gomes is not yet ready to displace the Spain international from the starting XI permanently.
Luis Enrique gave Gomes the nod ahead of Iniesta in Saturday’s 3-2 LaLiga win over Real Sociedad, but the former Valencia man failed to impress and eventually made way for his experienced team-mate with 20 minutes left on the clock.
“Iniesta is unique and absolutely indisputable,” said Luis Enrique when asked about his decision to bench the 32-year-old and start with Gomes instead.
“I have always admired and appreciated him.
“It is ridiculous to think someone can take his place.”
Barcelona put in an unconvincing performance to beat Sociedad and Luis Enrique has acknowledged they must improve as they prepare to take on Juventus and Real Madrid.
They will be looking to turn around a 3-0 defeat from the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against the Turin side on Wednesday, before their arch-rivals await at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday in what could prove to be a crucial game in the race for the LaLiga title.
It’s as you were at the top after Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atleti all registered important wins on Matchday 32.
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