Barcelona’s Luis Enrique believes transfer ban on Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid is ‘unjust’

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has described the transfer bans placed on rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as “unjust” after the clubs failed in their appeal to overturn Fifa’s decision.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique during the pre-match press conference on Friday, September 9. Alejandro Garcia / EPA
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique during the pre-match press conference on Friday, September 9. Alejandro Garcia / EPA

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has described the transfer bans placed on Primera Liga rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as “unjust” after the clubs failed in their appeal to overturn Fifa’s decision.

The Madrid clubs have been banned for two consecutive transfer windows for breaching rules regarding the signing of under-age non-Spanish players. It means both clubs will not be able to register new players until January 2018.

“I said the ban was unjust for us and I say the same thing now,” Enrique said during a press conference on Friday.

“Whether they like it or not, they will have to face it just as we did. They both have great squads.

“I just hope they don’t have the same results that we had when we served the ban!”

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After receiving the punishment, Barca won the Primera Liga, Copa del Rey and Uefa Champions League treble in the 2014/15 season.

Barcelona made six signings this summer and have made a good start, winning the Spanish Super Cup followed by successive Primera Liga victories; an opening day 6-2 triumph over Real Betis and a 1-0 victory at Athletic Bilbao before the international break.

Enrique’s team face promoted Alaves at the Camp Nou on Saturday with Lionel Messi doubtful due to a groin problem.

“We will evaluate the situation as it comes,” Enrique said. “He was able to train with the group for half a session and we have to consider what commitments we have this season and that the player is in the best condition.”

Messi’s absence could mean new signing Paco Alcacer makes his Barcelona debut.

The Spain international joined Barca from Valencia for €30 million (Dh123.6m) last month.

“We’ve signed a great player who is eager to win titles,” Enrique said. “He has adapted well. He knows a lot of the players from the national team.”

Barca will also be bolstered by the return of Brazil forward Neymar, who missed the start of the season to play in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where he led his country to its first football gold medal.

Neymar, 24, scored the winning goal in Brazil’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Colombia on Tuesday.

“I’ve seen Neymar really well,” Enrique said. “He is delighted to have won a gold medal that was very difficult to achieve and I see him very enthusiastic.”

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Published: September 9, 2016 04:00 AM

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