(CNN Spanish) — “My goodness, the beatings they’re going to give me!” exclaimed Luis Enrique at the press conference in which he presented Spain’s squad for the World Cup on November 18, after having stated with his usual ironic tone that he was “the greatest coach there could be on the face of the Earth.” Searched or involuntary, the truth is that Spanish is a quarry of phrases —often controversial— for the memory.
Here, we review 8 memorable phrases from the Asturian, both in his role as manager of the national team and of Barcelona.
“I am the best coach that can be on the face of the earth”
A journalist asked the DT in the red if he had doubts about his suitability for the position after the presentation of those summoned to Qatar, and Luis Enrique was dispatched with an ironic response that, as he himself predicted, became the headline. “I am the best coach there can be on the face of the earth. Without a doubt,” he said, and made the very logical reasoning that he cannot have doubts because he must transmit the ideas to the players. “There is no better coach than me in the history of world football. That is what I believe. Then another thing is that it is a reality, which obviously is not true, but I believe it,” he finished.
It was not the only pearl of the conference. “We are going to give war. We are not going to die of fear”, was another of the phrases that went to the titles. And she was also there to answer questions about the absences of some players, among which Sergio Ramos stands out. “This is not an NGO”, sentenced Luis Enrique.
🚨 OFFICIAL | Call for the @SEFootball for the World Cup in Qatar.
👥 These are the 26 players chosen by @LUISENRIQUE21 to defend Spain in the big event.
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— Spanish Soccer Team (@SEFutbol) November 11, 2022
“If only the teams with the best players win, this would be more boring than dancing with your own sister.”
Football gives surprises, like life, said the Asturian in a 2016 conference, when he was Barcelona’s technical director (he was with the Blaugrana team from 2014 to 2017). And there, another of his phrases that would go on in his memory: “If only the teams with the best players won, this would be more boring than dancing with your sister.”
“Excessive, exaggerated ambition, for me it is not a virtue, it is a great defect”
Luis Enrique said this phrase when he returned to lead the Spanish team in 2019, in the context of the controversy surrounding his relationship with Robert Moreno, who replaced him for a few months when he was out of the team.
“If they don’t like my style, I don’t give a damn”
The confrontations between the technical director of Spain – who will compete in the group stage in Qatar with Costa Rica, Germany and Japan – with the press are well known. In 2016, also during one of his seasons with the Catalan team, he responded to a journalist who questioned him about his attitude, saying that he had not disrespected media professionals. “If you don’t like my style, if they don’t like my style, I don’t give a damn. A damn to put it politely.”
“Rhythm suits me, adversity suits me”
That same 2016 conference left behind another of the best-known phrases from the Gijón native: “The rhythm is good for me, adversity is good for me. I’m such an asshole, because instead of leaving and enjoying the victories much more, I the dance goes”.
“I don’t read you because I think I know much more about football than most of those who think”
His strained relationship with the press returned to the headlines in 2021, when he thus responded to criticism of the squad for a Nations League semifinal match against Italy: “I have no news of anything because I don’t read or look or see I don’t even listen to you.” “I do not read you because I think I know much more about football than most of those who think and because I have much more information than you,” he concluded.
“Sometimes you have to have a soft hand, sometimes you have to give a hug and sometimes you have to give a smack”
In his presentation as technical director of the team in 2018, Luis Enrique delved into the vision he has of how the relationship with the players should be. “Sometimes you have to have a soft hand, sometimes you have to give a hug and sometimes you have to smack. A coach must treat each player differently. I treat my three children differently and they are children of the same father and the same mother. Imagine the selection! I will treat each one in the best way so that they give their best,” the coach said then, according to the review in the newspaper El País.
“I am pro VAR to the fullest. With a uve, eh, pro VAR with a uve”
The technical director is very, very in favor of VAR. “It seems to me that it is a perfect, spectacular weapon to help the arbitration team (…). I think it will be a weapon that will also help the players. There will be fewer traps, fewer players who throw themselves into the area, there will be fewer attacks”, he reflected in that same conference.