Barcelona boss Luis Enrique says the decision not to attend The Best FIFA Football Awards gala was taken by the players.
Stars including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta did not travel to Zurich for the event on Monday, with the club confirming that the team had stayed in Spain in order to continue preparations for Thursday’s Copa del Rey match with Athletic Bilbao.
Luis Enrique says it was ultimately down to the players to decide whether or not to go to Switzerland but insists he backs their choice completely given the importance of their game with Athletic.
“In principle, the idea to go or not is individual,” he told a news conference. “As their coach, I can only back their decision. There’s a sporting situation that’s more important.
“There are certain commitments the players must take into account. I back their decision 100 per cent.”
Asked for his view on Ronaldo’s remarks shortly after he collected his trophy, Luis Enrique replied: “I’m very lucky - I haven’t seen any TV for a week.”
The players’ absence came during a difficult week for Barca, in which Pique has once again caused a storm with his criticism of officials following some controversial decisions in the games against Athletic and Villarreal. —Goal.com