Luis Enrique names ex-Barcelona flop as Global Football Influencer, snubbing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Luis Enrique is one of the best managers in the recent history of soccer. He brought a new philosophy of playing that is a blend of old-school tactics and a new, modern approach. He has managed FC Barcelona and the Spain national team, winning many trophies for the former.

Currently, he is the manager of Paris Saint-Germain, where he has inherited a team full of superstars. Many believe that he will be the man to finally deliver some real success. Enrique, however, recently made a strange claim.

Luis Enrique bypasses Messi, Ronaldo for Ousmane Dembele

Luis Enrique has managed some of the biggest players on the planet and has faced equally dangerous opponents. He managed the likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Luis Suarez, and Neymar Jr., among others. He has also faced regularly dangerous opponents like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and many more.

Despite seeing all these established players on the pitch numerous times, Enrique doesn’t believe they are better than one of his current players. That player is former Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, who now plays for PSG.

Ahead of the Champions League game against Newcastle United, Luis Enrique was asked about Dembele, who hasn’t had much impact on the team yet, with only one goal and four assists to his record.

But the Spaniard believes that Dembele is the most influential player in the world now on the pitch, saying, “I keep insisting on my point: Ousmane Dembele is the most influential football player in the world. No doubts.”

“He doesn’t care about mistakes. He keeps going, he loves to try. He doesn’t listen to criticism… he always generates good things.”

It is a strange answer from the experienced manager but he may have been trying to keep the player’s hopes and confidence up. But then again, this is the same Enrique that recently bashed Kylian Mbappe even after scoring a hat trick in a game.

Why did Luis Enrique quit Barcelona?

Luis Enrique was formerly a Barcelona player, and a successful one at that. It was only normal that he would join his beloved club as a coach later, between 2015 and 2017. In just his first season, he had won a treble, the second in the club’s history.

He won the La Liga trophy 2 times, Copa Del Rey three times, and the Champions League, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup each one time. His Barcelona team boasted one of the best teams of all time and the best front trio in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr.

Luis Enrique
via UEFA.com

And yet even after so much success, the Spaniard left the club in 2017. Apparently, his decision to leave was made at the start of his last season, and he had already informed the club of this.

In an interview he said that he was tired of managing the club, “At the beginning of the third season, I had already asked the club to start looking for a replacement. In a selfish way, I didn’t have any more energy to give.”

Many rumors outside the club had suggested that Enrique had fallen out with some big players and that he even had problems with the board. It was clear that he was tired of handing the immense pressure that comes with managing a team like Barcelona and quit while he was ahead.

Luis Enrique will now guide PSG through their next game against Le Havre in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.

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