Luis Enrique sensationally announced Wednesday night that he will not be in charge of Barcelona in the 2017/2018 season.
The LaLiga champions defeated Sporting Gijon 6-1 on Wednesday and the former Spain international broke the news in
his post-match press conference.
“I will not manage Barça next season,” Enrique, who won the Champions League, LaLiga and Copa del Rey treble in his
first season in 2014/2015, said.
“I need to rest. I want to thank the club for their confidence, and the players for their dedication and
Enrique played 62 times for Spain in a career spanning 11 years. He is widely tipped to coach the former world
champions sometime in the future.
Enrique’s decision has drawn shock in the Barcelona camp as well as outside.
Here is the 46-year-old’s statement, confirming the news, in full.
“It’s a very difficult decision for me, one I’ve thought about a lot, but I think I need to be true to myself and
fair to my way of thinking.
“In the pre-season I had a meeting with Albert Soler and Robert Fernandez where I mooted the possibility that I
might not renew my contract.
“They told me there was no rush to take the decision. That moment has arrived. I’m announcing it.
“The reason is I live my work looking for solutions and it gives me little time to rest.
“I’ll need a rest and that’s the main reason. I’d like to thank the club for the confidence they’ve shown in me over
“They gave me the chance to coach the B team, I did that, and these three years have been unforgettable.
“I thank the club for all the support and professionalism and I’m not forgetting there are still three incredible
months to go.
“I think we can turn [the Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain] around and if the stars are in our favour
we can go through. Maximum effort and nothing more. The moment to say goodbye as the club deserves will come.”
Meanwhile Pep Guardiola says he understands why Luis Enrique has opted to leave Barcelona, despite hailing him as
the “perfect” coach at Camp Nou.
Barca went top of LaLiga on Wednesday with a 6-1 demolition of Sporting Gijon, but Luis Enrique stunned Catalan fans
after the game by announcing he would not extend his contract at the club beyond the end of the season.
Luis Enrique cited a need to rest for his decision, a move that more than echoes Guardiola’s own decision to step
down as Barca boss in 2012 after four glittering seasons.
“I have two reactions,” Manchester City manager Guardiola told a news conference.
“As a Barca fan I am so sad because we are going to miss the perfect trainer for Barcelona, for his personality and
“In his two or three years he played unbelievable football with unbelievable players.
“The second reaction is I understand completely and I wish him the best.
“As a fan, a member of Barcelona, I say thank you for these three years in my club.”