Barcelona stronger even without Messi: coach Enrique

Barcelona, Nov 1 (IANS) Following their 2-0 win at Getafe, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has said his side has grown even more stronger without star striker Lionel Messi.

Barcelona continue to pick up wins despite Messi’s injury-enforced absence, losing just once since the 28-year-old limped off in September, and Enrique maintained that their collective strength has seen them cope without the Argentina captain.

“I never ask them to give more just because of injuries. Everyone gives a little more but a player always wants to do his best. It’s not because we are without a player that they play better,” Enrique told reporters after the match on Saturday.

“We played a very complete match. It is difficult to compare it with other games as today, in general, we were able to enjoy a complete game on a pitch where that does not happen easily. We didn’t suffer much, we attacked well, we were organised and we pressed very well,” he said.

Andres Iniesta made his return from injury to ease their injury woes, although Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto have performed admirably in Messi’s absence over recent weeks.

“He is a unique player for us. He’s the best midfielder, not only in Europe, but in the world,” Enrique said when asked about of Busquets.

“He stands out for his intelligence, how solid he is both offensively and defensively, as well the pressure he crates. He’s a key footballer who I try to rest whenever I can,” he added.

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