Luis Enrique talks Pedri, Messi, Pique, Puyol, Spain NT, managerial future
Following his removal from the post of Spain’s national team manager after the Round of 16 exit from the FIFA World Cup 2022, Luis Enrique made an appearance on Ibai Llanos’ Twitch stream last night, during which he discussed various topics related to La Roja and the World Cup.
During the chat, the former Barcelona and Spain manager reserved special praise for a certain Pedri. The 20-year-old midfielder has become a key part of the Spanish national team setup over the past couple of years and was again one of the better performers from the squad in Qatar.
And when asked to name some of the players who made a big impression on him at the World Cup, Enrique named Pedri along with some players from the Moroccan national team.
“Several from Morocco, but the one who surprised me the most is Pedri. He’s like Harry Potter… He does magic. He’s insane, I don’t know how to explain it. He surprised me but at the same time he didn’t,” Enrique said.
“Watching him play even in difficult moments, the closest player I’ve seen like him is Iniesta but he doesn’t need comparisons.”
Enrique also touched upon the squad he selected for the World Cup and stated that he would leave one member behind from the 26-man roster he selected if he were given a do-over.
“Yes. One player, but I won’t say the name. One player didn’t end up being what I thought and I would have changed him for another player,” Enrique said.
With Argentina in the semi-finals of the World Cup, Enrique reiterated what he had said previously, stating that he would like to Lionel Messi lift the trophy now that Spain are no longer in the competition.
“I want Messi to win the World Cup, because of what Messi means to football,” he said.
The Spanish tactician also talked about former Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique, who recently announced his retirement from football.
“Pique is very similar to me, a funny and controversial man who looks at life from a different perspective, he is a very special person. As a footballer I have no complaints about Pique, he is a very competitive player and I would take him to any war,” Enrique exclaimed.
Enrique also spoke highly of another former Barcelona defender in Carles Puyol, stating that he has a strong relationship with the legendary ex-captain.
“Puyol, Ivan de La Peña and Abelardo, they are like brothers to me. With Puyol, I have a very strong relationship,” he said when asked about his best friends in Barcelona.
Talking about what he achieved with the Spanish national team during his tenure, Enrique said: “We didn’t play a great game against Morocco, but we played well in the World Cup. I had been with the Spanish national team for four years and I think I have done a good job. I’m satisfied with what I did.”
“I think the most important thing is that we awakened people’s interest in watching the Spanish national team. We awakened the excitement of the fans. We could have done better, that’s for sure. But that’s football.”
However, he did admit that it made him sad that he could not lead La Roja to any titles, saying: “It makes me sad that we didn’t win any championship. We had a group with a lot of quality. I thought we could win the World Cup, we had a real chance. I feel really bad for the players.”
On his future, Enrique stated that he does not see himself managing a national team again and will consider joining a club once the season starts.
“I don’t think I will coach in the World Cup again, I see myself more as a coach for a club, I will wait for the start of the season,” the ex-Barcelona manager said.