Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Luis Enrique tips Roberto for international honours

SoccerNews in La Liga 3 Nov 2015

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has tipped in-form Sergi Roberto to shine if he wins international honours with Spain.

The 22-year-old La Masia product has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign for the Liga champions this season – his versatility helping ease the burden of injuries to several key first-team players.

Roberto starred with dazzling assists for both goals in Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Getafe on Saturday and Luis Enrique, who also coached the player during his formative years, believes he would be ready to step up if reports linking him with a maiden call-up for Spain’s friendlies against England and Belgium this month prove to be accurate. 

“That would be great, it’s great for any player,” said Luis Enrique.

“Sergi Roberto is a player I had with Barca B. I know what a top-quality player he is.

“It’s difficult to play for any national team, especially the Spanish team, but I think he’s more than ready.”

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Group E match against BATE, where three points will secure progress if Roma do not defeat Bayer Leverkusen, Luis Enrique also praised another of the young talents on Barcelona’s books.

Alen Halilovic has turned in a succession of impressive displays while on loan at Sporting Gijon. He scored a 27th-minute winner in the 1-0 triumph over Malaga on Sunday and Luis Enrique believes the move has come at the perfect time for the 19-year-old Croatian midfielder’s development.

“He’s been looked after very well,” he explained. “He’s in the best place where he can play games at the top level. He’s been playing very well.

“We signed him because we want him to help the club and I think he’ll have a very useful season, but he needs to keep improving to get into our first team.”

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