Since falling 1-0 to Real Sociedad, Barcelona have now won 11 straight matches in all competitions and closed the gap on league leaders Real Madrid to a single point.
Following yesterday’s 5-0 win over Levante, manager Luis Enrique was informed that he had tied Pep Guardiola’s club record for consecutive wins – which has stood since the 2008-09 campaign. Barcelona’s newest boss admitted he was unaware of the record and put zero importance on the fact that his side could establish a new high-water mark for continuous victories.
When asked if he was aware that he tied the former Barcelona manager’s consecutive win mark, Enrique responded: “Guardiola’s record? I didn’t know I had equaled the eleven wins, records do not interest me. The idea is to enjoy ourselves.”
“We’ll only value it when the season ends. If we win titles then that would be very good. We’ve played a great second half [vs. Levante]. I’m happy. It’s a victory that strengthens us all.”
Barcelona have ignored the outside distractions which hovered over the club from December to early January, and have played some fantastic football in recent weeks. The manager credited the team’s battle-hardened veterans for Barcelona’s recent run of form.
“This is a team that is accustomed to distractions from the outside,” Enrique said. ” It is important to focus and improve.”
Midfielder Andres Iniesta is determined to vanquish the ghosts of last season and once again raise the La Liga trophy.
“We are out to win everything we can and have a lot to look forward to,” Iniesta added. “We’ve got a great team and the disappointment of last year has to be a motivation for us to show our true colors and try to end this season with a smile on our faces and our fans celebrating a title once more.”
The play of Lionel Messi has been particularly outstanding since Enrique decided to bench the Argentine for Barcelona’s match against Real Sociedad following the winter break. Since then, the four-time World Player of the Year has been in scintillating form, scoring 14 goals and adding 11 assists.
For the season, Messi’s totals now stand at 37 goals and 21 assists in all competitions, and the Argentine is now only two goals shy of overtaking his rival Cristiano Ronaldo as La Liga’s top goal scorer (the Pichichi trophy) – Ronaldo is on 28 league goals, while Messi now stands at 26.
Next up for Barcelona is a league match against Malaga on Saturday.
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