Luis Enrique shocked the football world on Wednesday night by announcing his intention to quit Barcelona at the end of the season.
After three years in charge, the former midfielder has decided he has had enough and explained that he intends to take a break from the game.
What was most surprising, was that his announcement came off the back of a 6-1 victory over Sporting Gijon at the Nou Camp.
Since the announcement was made, none of the Barcelona players have spoken publicly, but midfielder Ivan Rakitic has taken the first step to describe how events unfolded and how the players felt upon hearing his decision.
And it would seem that the players were none the wiser either and that the coach broke the news to them just before he announced it to the world.
“The Barcelona squad didn’t know Luis Enrique was going to leave,” Rakitic said, as per Marca.
“First he told us of his decision, then the press, and we hope to end the season successfully and to enjoy what is left.”I had hoped he would continue [as coach].
“The squad accepts his decision and wishes him well.”
So despite the rumours of an unrest in Barca’s dressing room over the coaches decisions, it would seem that he at least had one admirer in the shape of the Croatian international.
Luis Enrique’s stint at the club has been a successful one. During his three years in charge, he has collected a total of eight trophies – including the Champions League – but feels that he has taken the Catalan giants as far as they can go.
However, Barca could still come away with a domestic league and cup double. Having lost the first leg of their Champions League tie 4-0 to Paris Saint-Germain, it would seem that their chances of European success have gone.
But this week they leapfrogged Real Madrid to the top spot in the league and have a Copa Del Rey final meeting to look forward to against Alaves in May.