PSG’s Luis Enrique Reveals Why He Doesn’t Hold an Edge Over Barcelona’s Xavi

Paris Saint-Germain will face FC Barcelona on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie. This is the first time that Luis Enrique will face Xavi Hernandez, whom he coached during his time with the Catalan side.

Enrique knows what type of player Xavi was, but that doesn’t mean he understands how the 44-year-old is as a coach. The PSG manager spoke to the media on Tuesday and noted that he doesn’t feel there’s an advantage or disadvantage to him knowing Xavi as a player but not as a coach.

“To begin with, I’m sorry, but I don’t know Xavi as a coach,” Enrique told reporters (h/t Culture PSG). “I know him like any other supporter, but I haven’t had the chance to be coached by him. I know Xavi, who was my teammate because I played for several years with him as his captain. I also know Xavi as a player because I was his coach, but I know Xavi, the coach, in the same way as you or any football lover. 

“However, I know Barcelona very well, the club and many of its players. I’m not convinced whether this is an advantage or a disadvantage. What I do know, though, is that this is a very special match for me, for what it means emotionally. But with the experience I have, I am more than ready to handle these kinds of matches and give my best for my team.”

It will be interesting to see how Enrique approaches whatever gameplan Xavi might have for him since the Barcelona coach does know the 53-year-old from a managerial perspective. 

Could that be enough for the Spanish side to advance? The Parisians have been performing well under Enrique this season; if they want to advance to the semifinals, the team will need to secure an advantage at home before the scene shifts to Barcelona. 

Tags Barcelona Champions League La Liga Luis Enrique Xavi Hernandez
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