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Luis Enrique sincerity key to success at Barcelona – Puyol

SoccerNews in La Liga 29 Mar 2016

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Carles Puyol believes Luis Enrique’s direct nature and sincerity has been the key to his success as a coach as Barcelona.

Having guided Barca to the treble in his first season in charge as they won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, Luis Enrique is enjoying another stellar campaign.

Barca are nine points clear at the top of La Liga, in the final of the Copa and the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they look to add to the FIFA Club World Cup title clinched in December.

Former Barca captain Puyol, a team-mate of Luis Enrique at Barca between 1999 and 2004, told Barca TV: “I never met Luis Enrique the manager, but, as a person and friend, he is spectacular. After some bad results, you weren’t sure how things were going to go, but he has a lot of confidence in himself and he believed that things would go well.

“As a person, he is a great friend. A person who is straight, direct, never to trick you or let you down, and for me is the most important. Now you see the cohesion he has with all of his players because, at the end of the day, that is what the players want. 

“It is more important to say something straight up once, rather than not saying it which will cause further problems. It is not just a matter of playing or not playing.

“In the end, sincerity for me is very important, and it is something that players appreciate. I think it is more important than some people believe and he is more personal than people imagine when solely watching him in press conferences or people that do not know him closely.”

On Barca’s attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – who were pivotal to the treble win and have scored 107 goals between them in all competitions this season – Puyol added: “They are playing very well and have a great understanding, which for me is fundamental. 

“The teamwork you see that they switch positions constantly. When one stays forward, the other fills in their position and this is key. This is the humility that I was talking about before, it is what they are showing. 

“They work for the team even though they can each be star players of any team. They each know that Barca comes first and that they are part of a team. With the talent they have, it is hard to find a front three like them, especially with the cohesion they have.”

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