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"My tips to the MSN? 'Abracadabra' ... and magic!"

Barcelona’s coach replied to Wenger’s praise: "It’s normal that he calls us a superteam because we are the defending champions".


Luis Enrique gave his pre-match press briefing in London this evening as Barcelona gear up to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Last 16 of the Champions League.

Defending champions: "Our objective is to reconfirm our status as reigning champions and underline last year’s triumph. For that reason their is an extra dose of motivation which we hope to transform into a good game tomorrow"

Arsenal: "They are a quality side, pack a punch in attack, are a solid unit and play a similar style of football to us – the beauty of football is that there are many different styles and you can never predict the outcome even with two teams with similar styles. I think they will sit back and press us at their stadium. I’m hoping for a game in which we dominate the ball in their half of the pitch".

Objective: "We only have one – the same one as always – to win the game, scoring more goals that our rivals. Arsenal are a very strong side, who are exceptional going forward and have a very dangerous forward line".

Is this one of the most attractive clashes in Europe? “Arsenal have the potential to dominate their matches. For the styles of both teams, it could be one of the most attractive games. I think tomorrow we will see a great, competitive game of football”.

Wenger cites Barça as the ‘super favourites’: "I don’t mind. I think it’s fantastic that others have their opinion. It’s understandable that he thinks we are a superteam because we are the defending champions but we have to go out there and show it, with the ball and without it".

What do to say to the ‘MSN’ to get the best out of them? "Abracadabra, and the magic just comes out, just like that. I don’t know, I’ve always had good forwards and now, at Barça, I’ve got the best in the world. They have freedom, they know that they have other obligations because we depend on their pressing but we also try to make sure they receive the ball well. We all have the same objective in common. It’s really easy".

Messi’s level this season: “He was spectacular last season and this season he is the same or better. These are players who reinvent themselves. Leo could easily be the best midfielder; his figures as a No.9 are incredible. He’s a vital player for us and he’s our leader”.

How did you go to bed on Sunday night, knowing that Atlético are eight points adrift and Madrid, nine points? “The same as always, with my wife”.

The Calderón to host the Copa del Rey final: “It’s got goalposts and stands for the fans to sit... in a word, fantastic”.


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