thumbnail Hello,

The 44-year-old was appointed on Monday and has admitted he is a big fan of the sides his former team-mate has constructed at Camp Nou and Bayern Munich

New Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has revealed he is a keen admirer of Pep Guardiola and hopes to build a side that will "excite" supporters.

The 44-year-old was appointed as Gerardo Martino's replacement on Monday and signed a two-year deal after leaving Celta Vigo.

Enrique's return extends his association with the club, having represented them as a player for eight years before a stint in charge of the club's 'B' team.

"I'm aware there will be comparisons with Pep," he told reporters. "I admire him and we're in touch, he has adapted great at his new club.

"Today is a very exciting day for me, a very special day, a day we start to build a new Barca. A Barca that can excite people.

"I am very happy to be here, the new season begins here, we've got things to decide, I am hoping we have got a great season ahead, but I know I have got a big task ahead of me.

"I am more than a manager, I am a leader, I am here to lead, leadership skills are very important.

The former midfielder intends to implement his own attacking style but added he wants to strike a balance between their offensive threat and rearguard resilience.

"Attacking football is what Barca identifies with, that's what we play, what people have fallen in love with but we need to defend well too.

"Obviously I will bring things to the team because I have got my own ideas, but I am hoping for an attractive and effective Barcelona."

Enrique was also quizzed over the futures of midfielders Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Javier Mascherano, two players linked with the Camp Nou exit door, but remained tight-lipped.

"Cesc? There's no need to ask about individual names. We won't talk now, decisions will be made later.

"Xavi is a friend and an ex-team-mate, we will sit down with him and what he wants and the club. Mascherano is in a similar situation to Xavi, he has the profile of a captain - we have time to make decisions." 

Related

From the web