Barcelona (AFP) – Luis Enrique will take charge of Barcelona for the final time as coach in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Alaves, but refused to rule out a return to the club in the future on Friday.
Enrique can add a ninth title to a generally successful three-year spell in charge in the final competitive game at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon this weekend.
However, he revealed back in March that he would not seek to renew his contract as he needed a rest after being worn down by the unique pressures that come with being Barca boss.
“Who knows if one day I coud return to the club to coach Barca,” said Enrique.
“It is my home, my club, it’s where I’ve felt most comfortable as a player and a coach.”
Enrique has though endured a tempestuous relationship with the media during his time in charge and joked his return could provoke “heart attacks” in the press pack.
“Maybe I’ll come back here on July 10 and take you by surprise…that would cause a few heart attacks,” he added.
“I am young, I’m easy to get on with, so why not in a few years.”
Barca won’t be at full strength for the showpiece occasion as Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto are both suspended after being sent-off in a bad-tempered semi-final, second leg against Atletico Madrid.
However, Gerard Pique called on his teammates to give one of Barca’s best ever coaches the send-off he deserves.
“He is one of the best coaches in the history of the club,” said Pique.
“He deserves a great final. The best way to leave would be on a high with a trophy and tomorrow is a good opportunity.”
Enrique led Barca to only the club’s second ever treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey in his first season in charge and backed that up with a league and Cup double last year.
However, despite reports of dressing room bust-ups in his final campaign, Pique insisted he is a loved figure within the squad.
“It is easy to say the titles we have won,” he added when asked for his best memories of the past three seasons.
“But it is better to be left with his way of being because he has been capable of winning over the dressing room.
“They have been three magnificent years.”
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