Enrique doubts Neymar’s prospects of becoming an elite

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19: Luis Enrique, Manager of FC Barcelona give instructions to his players Sergio Busquets and Neymar JR during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Malaga CF at Camp Nou stadium on November 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Spain coach Luis Enrique feels Neymar’s chances of becoming football’s absolute elite is running out, despite accepting he has the talent to attain those heights.

The Brazilian won the Champions League under the Spaniard at Barcelona, but his inconsistent form has raised a lot of doubts.

Neymar completed a big money move to PSG in the bid to avoid being under Messi’s shadow, but Enrique feels he may never achieve those objectives.

“He has the potential to be a dominant player,” Luis Enrique said of the Brazilian.

“Time will tell, and I’m not certain that he will be, but he’s a winner on the pitch.”

The ex-Barcelona boss switched his attention to the Spanish armada’s style of play and cited comparisons to his former team.

“I focus more on the titles than how they are won,” he said.

“We’re focused on playing the best football possible. I like direct, attacking football and attacking is how you find your identity.

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“To not value Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona would be cynical and blind – it was a work of art.

“I want to win, but I’m convinced that we win if we play well by attacking and defending as a collective.”

International coaching is a completely different role from that of a club coach, but Luis Enrique isn’t missing the daily interaction with his players.

“I don’t miss the day to day work,” he admitted.

“We work intensely.”I want to have time to do other things. There are a thousand things that I like.”


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