La Liga: Barca not seeking revenge at Atletico, says Enrique

Tie comes exactly a year to the day since Atletico won the league on Barca’s home pitch.

Afp May 16, 2015
Luis Enrique’s men require three points to mathematically be crowned champions and would look for a win at the Calderon to secure their 23rd La Liga title. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID: Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insisted revenge will not fuel his side’s thirst to win La Liga when they travel to face Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

The match comes exactly a year to the day since Atletico won the league on Barca’s home pitch on the final day of last season.

A 23rd Liga title would also be the first trophy of a potential treble for Barca as they face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final and reached the Champions League final in midweek with a 5-3 aggregate win over Bayern Munich.

“I haven’t seen any desire for revenge among my players. Atletico had a great season last year and were deserved champions,” said Enrique. “The schedule has decided that we play on the penultimate game in the Calderon and it is exciting. If we are not intense in a game like this then we can’t win. This game will be like a final and in the two finals we need to play with the maximum intensity to win the prize.”

Barca could also be at full strength as Luis Suarez trained with his teammates on Saturday despite suffering a hamstring injury that forced him off at half-time in Munich in midweek.

“We will see tomorrow [about Suarez’s availability]. He is a lot better but tomorrow we will see how he is and what condition he is in to play,” added Enrique.

Barcelona can kill you, says Simeone

Atletico boss Diego Simeone has insisted that if his side are not able to match Barcelona’s work-rate then Barcelona can be quite unforgiving.

“If you go tight they’ll kill you. If you wait they will kill you. You have to go for every ball as if it’s your last. You can’t think too much about the threat they have,” said the Argentine.

Meanwhile, Atletico striker Fernando Torres has iterated that the Rojiblancos would try everything in their power to not let Barcelona win at the Calderon.

“I hope that Barca don’t win the title here,” said Torres. “Atletico became champions last year at the Nou Camp and, as football and fate would have it, Barcelona have the possibility of becoming champions at our ground. Football is like that, but we hope to win the game ourselves and assure ourselves of third place.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2015.

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