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Enrique insists Nou Camp farewell is ‘not goodbye’ ahead of final day clash with Eibar

Date Posted,May 20, 2017

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is set to bid an emotional farewell to the Nou Camp, even if victory over Eibar proves insufficient to deny Real Madrid a first LaLiga title since 2012.

Real just need a point at Malaga to secure the crown, but a defeat will leave the door open for defending champions Barca to win it for the third year in succession and 25th time overall.

“At this level the line between success and failure is very small,” Enrique told a pre-match press conference. “We are focused on a key game which is crucial to winning the league.

“It doesn’t depend on us, but what does depend on us is winning (Sunday’s) game. It will be tough because Eibar are playing for their highest league finish in the top flight and the way they play, pressuring high up the field, will make things difficult.”

Barcelona have won eight trophies during Enrique’s three years in charge, with next week’s Copa del Rey final against Alaves offering the chance of more silverware.

Barcelona’s coach Luis Enrique gives a press conference (Photo: AFP)
Lionel Messi stretches with Neymar and Luis Suarez (Photo: AFP)
Lionel Messi looks on (Photo: AFP)

Tributes to the 47-year-old are planned before Sunday’s game and he added: “It’s going to be a very special night – that’s normal.

“I was very fortunate to come here and become the manager. I knew it was going to be a short time here regardless of whether it was one, two or 25 years. It seems short because the time flies by so quickly.

“You live things with such passion. For me it’s been like a short journey but Barca’s history is full of these stories of players and managers that come and go and I’m very proud of forming part of this history.

“I’ve given my best for this club, I’m very grateful to Barcelona for what it’s given me in my eight years as a player, my six as a manager – three with the B team and three with the first team.

Luis Enrique arrives for a training session (Photo: AFP)
Neymar arrives for a training session (Photo: AFP)

“I feel privileged and my only objective now is to try and win the three points (on Sunday). If we get the knock-on effect and win the league as well, great, we’ll celebrate. If not, we’ll congratulate the champions.

“It’s not goodbye, but rather a ‘see you later’. Next year I will be back at the Camp Nou as a member and enjoy the games.”

Sergi Roberto is available again after suspension and Gerard Pique could also feature after returning to training. Pique missed last Sunady’s 4-1 win at Las Palmas due to illness, while Javier Mascherano is sidelined after pulling a hamstring in the warm-up for that match.

Eibar can end the season in eighth place – a club record – giving their former Real Madrid midfielder Pedro Leon some extra motivation.

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“We are going to try and spring a surprise at the Camp Nou,” Leon told Cadena Cope radio.

“Barca are favourites and play at home. But we also went to the Bernabeu earlier this season and managed to get a draw. We want to take a positive result on Sunday.

“I’ve always been a Real fan and I have a good relationship with them. But more than anything on Sunday, I want to do my job and help Eibar win. We want to finish the season in eighth place.”

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