It was thought that the Argentine might be asked to play deeper to allow the Uruguayan to lead the line, but the coach is unwilling to place any restrictions upon his No. 10.Barcelona boss Luis Enrique says he will afford Lionel Messi the freedom to play where he pleases this season.
Speculation has been rife ahead of the 2014-15 campaign that the new Blaugrana coach will ask his No. 10 to accept a more withdrawn attacking role this season — as the Argentina international did during this summer's World Cup — to allow summer signing Luis Suarez to play in his preferred position of center forward.
However, Luis Enrique has now confirmed that Barca's attack will once again be based around Messi.
"Leo has so many options that we can't close off any to him," the former Spain international told reporters Sunday. "He will have total freedom to move in attacking situations. He is the best in the world, without a doubt, and we adapt to his mobility."
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Luis Enrique also refused to confirm whether he intends to primarily employ the versatile Javier Mascherano as a center back or in front of the back four this season.
"I love him as a defender and a midfield pivot," the coach said. "We'll see him in both positions."
Luis Enrique added that Mascherano could feature in Monday's friendly against Mexican outfit Club Leon, but that neither Messi nor Neymar will feature.
"We're not at 100 percent, which is no surprise at this stage," he said. "But the squad have trained harder than I expected. They have made sacrifices and I am 100 percent optimistic. The fans will like what they see [on Monday]."