Luis Enrique suggested he'd leave in September - Braida

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Luis Enrique, Barcelona, Champions League, 02142017
The coach will leave Camp Nou at the end of the season, but the international adviser says he was only confirming what had been said months prior

Luis Enrique had indicated as early as September that he would leave Barcelona at the end of the season, according to the club's international adviser Ariedo Braida.

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Barca remain in the battle for La Liga and currently sit one point ahead of Real Madrid at the top, though the latter have a game in hand. However, the Catalans are on the way out of the Champions League unless they become the first team to overcome a 4-0 first-leg loss when they meet Paris Saint-Germain for the return game at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

That hammering in France prompted many fans to call for Luis Enrique to leave the club, despite having previously guided them to two consecutive Liga and Copa del Rey crowns, as well as success in the Champions League and Club World Cup.

After Barca's 6-1 win over Sporting Gijon, the coach revealed that his time in Catalunya is coming to an end and that he will leave once the campaign is over. 

But Braida says the 46-year-old had already suggested he was on his way out and praised him for giving the board time to prepare the search for his replacement.

"Last September he had a little bit announced that he would leave at the end of the season, he has now confirmed well in advance to give the club the opportunity to find a new coach," he told Radio Anch'io Sport

"We don't know who his successor will be but I can only say that, after doing great things, Luis Enrique has proven to be a great coach and will demonstrate that elsewhere."

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Braida admits Barca's chances of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League are slim, but he is optimistic because of the presence of Lionel Messi, who he expects to remain there for a long time to come.

"It is very difficult to recover it 4-0, but with a player like Messi nothing is impossible. We all have belief that we can do it.

"Barcelona is the perfect place for him. It's a perfect combination, a perfect marriage. He serves at Barca and vice versa. His life is here, it's his city. He will not move from here."