‘Flattery weakens’, Barca coach warns after thrashing Madrid

Luis EnriqueFar from riding on the euphoria of his team’s 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique warned Monday that “flattery weakens” and said the club still had not won anything.

“Flattery weakens. We are in a phase of flattery but the team is intelligent enough and the players know that playing football and achieving objectives is difficult,” he told reporters.

The reigning European champions are aiming to seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League when Roma visit the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

And they are in a good place — not only did they humiliate rivals Madrid in their own stadium in Saturday’s Clasico, they are also leading the Spanish league and have Lionel Messi available again after a two month spell on the sidelines.

Luis Enrique confirmed that the Argentine would play against Roma but compatriot Javier Mascherano, on the other hand, would not after coming off injured on Saturday.

Messi “has recovered, his injury is but a distant memory. He needs to recover physically and that only happens when you play,” Enrique said.

Brazilian right-back Dani Alves, meanwhile, agreed that victories could be a source of weakness “because they make you believe things that are not true.”

“It’s great to have won, to have won three points but the objective is further ahead,” he said.

“If you win a game like this one and you don’t win titles at the end of the year, you’re left looking a bit stupid.”

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