Messi not on speaking terms with Luis Enrique as Barcelona players refuse coach’s orders

Despite the Blaugrana’s fine midweek win against Manchester City, the coach has a difficult relationship with his playing staff and star man

Messi not on speaking terms with Luis Enrique as Barcelona players refuse coach's orders
Luis Enrique acknowledges that his future at Camp Nou is far from secure as he continues to endure a difficult relationship with Lionel Messi and the Barcelona squad.

The Asturian only took over as coach of the Blaugrana last summer but his first season on the bench has been dogged by dressing room problems – particularly with star man Messi.

The pair fell out at the start of January, leading to a highly-publicised power struggle, but they then called a truce – agreeing to put their differences aside for the greater good of Barcelona.

However, Goal understands that despite this ceasefire the pair are actually not on speaking terms.

The club has sided with Messi on the issue and while president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists that the coach will remain in his job next season, Luis Enrique himself realises that his position at the club is precarious.

A further reason for this is because the ex-midfielder also has a frosty relationship with many other members of the first-team squad – Luis Enrique’s authoritarian management style is not approved by his players.

Luis Enrique is not the kind of coach to accept suggestions or pointers. Unlike Pep Guardiola, who was hugely popular with Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and other senior squad members, Luis Enrique is more comparable to disciplinarians such as Louis Van Gaal and Fabio Capello in demanding total obedience from his players.

While the players have agreed to co-operate enough to ensure they can fight for major titles this season, there have been occasions when some Barcelona players have been unwilling to take orders from their boss. Indeed the players have found a way of self-managing the team when required.

This is not the first time that Luis Enrique has had a troubled relationship with one or more of his players. While at Roma, he also fell out with club legend Francesco Totti – and this was an important reason why he only lasted one season in the Italian capital.

As we now enter the business end of the 2014-15 campaign, Luis Enrique is concerned his time on the Camp Nou bench will also end prematurely. Barcelona are currently second in La Liga, four points behind Real Madrid.


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