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Andres Iniesta

Luis Enrique hails values of 600-game Iniesta


Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona boss Luis Enrique lauded Andres Iniesta’s behaviour as well as his ball skills ahead of the midfield maestro’s 600th Barca game at Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Along with Lionel Messi, Iniesta is Barcelona’s most decorated player ever with 29 trophies, but is even more loved across Spain for his winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final.

Iniesta is second behind only former teammate Xavi Hernandez as the player to make most Barca appearances.

“I had the luck to play with him and now to coach him,” said Enrique on Saturday.

“To evaluate these 599, possible 600 games tomorrow, is something that can only make everyone proud and not just for his performances.

“We can only enjoy him. Not just for what he has achieved, but how he has achieved it. For the values he has shown and what he represents to world football.”

Barca will once again be without the injured Messi for Enrique’s return to Balaidos on Sunday.

Enrique took charge of Celta for a season before returning to Catalonia in 2014, but endured an unhappy return last year as Celta inflicted his heaviest ever defeat as Barca boss in a 4-1 thrashing.

“Celta are a dangerous team for the players and idea they have of how to play,” added Enrique.

“They demand the most of you with and without the ball and make the games great to watch for the fans, but as complicated as possible for the players.”

Paco Alcacer is expected to drop out of the Barca side that won 2-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach in midweek with the in-form Arda Turan taking his place alongside Luis Suarez and Neymar in attack.

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