Barca boss Enrique to take year-long sabbatical from football

Joe Williams

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has revealed plans to take a year-long sabbatical from football at the end of the season.

The 46-year-old announced earlier this term that it would be his last at the Nou Camp and he has no intention of taking on a new challenge just yet.

“If I’m leaving Barcelona, my home, where I have a great relationship with the club and the players, it’s purely for tiredness,” he said at a press conference to preview Wednesday’s clash with Sevilla.

“I need to recover. I’m not thinking about other teams.

“It will be a year to recover, but now what’s left to do is to end the season with all our objectives achieved.”

Enrique was also asked about the fact the long-serving Andres Iniesta’s game time is being managed, and he said: “He had the bad luck of having injuries, which kept him out for some time.

“From then on, we’ve tried to find the most opportune moments for him to participate. He is back to his best level. He has a unique level and (resting him) has been a way to guarantee that we can count on him.”

Barca could move to the top of LaLiga with victory against their fourth-placed visitors, who are without a win from their past five games.

Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli, who is among those tipped to succeed Enrique at the Nou Camp, retains his faith in the club’s present approach and will look to take the game to Barcelona.

“The plan is to perform with a lot of courage, sticking to our style in spite of the results we’ve had,” said the 57-year-old Argentinian.

“At the moment what we need the most is consistency and that will give us the ability to reverse this bad run. Each game affects us emotionally but that should not be an excuse.

“A negative atmosphere is completely damaging, I am hearing more murmurs than encouragements and the players feel it too.”

Sevilla confirmed this week that in-demand sporting director Monchi will leave this summer.