Barcelona motivated by treble prospect – Luis Enrique

Andy West 12:02 03/06/2015
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Final preparations: Barcelona’s players during an open training session at the Nou Camp.

Luis Enrique admits the prospect of completing the treble in his first season in charge of Barcelona is a powerful motivating factor ahead of the Champions League final with Juventus in Berlin.

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The Catalan giants have already secured a domestic double, beating Real Madrid by two points in La Liga and recording a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

The chance to add another piece of silverware would complete the second treble in the club’s history, a feat only previously achieved by Pep Guardiola’s team in 2008/9, during which time Enrique was employed by the club as reserve team coach.

“More than it being a Champions League final, it is the prospect of winning the treble that really excites us,” said Enrique. “The chance to win the second treble in Barca’s history is a huge objective.”

However, he also acknowledged that Juventus are playing for the same prize, with the Turin powerhouse hoping to complete the very first treble in their glittering history after already tying up the Serie A and Coppa Italia crowns.

And the Nou Camp boss insisted his team will not be caught by surprise in the first meeting between the teams since 2003, when Juve prevailed in the Champions League quarter-finals – a game which featured Enrique in the Barca midfield.

“I remember that game very well – especially Gigi Buffon!” he added. “Juve are a side we know a great deal about. They’ve had an exceptional season and won the Italian league convincingly.

“They suffered a little more to lift the cup, but they have got where they are by their own merits.”

Despite the inevitable hype surrounding one of the greatest occasions in the sporting world, Enrique emphasised that his team will not be trying to do anything different either before or during the game.

“We’re continuing to do exactly the same as we have done up until now,” he said.

“All our habits and regimes are the same as the ones on the road to this final. We are only trying to enjoy it and complete every training session with happiness.

“And in the game, our plan is to keep possession, press Juve and stay well-positioned.”

One of the sub-plots will be the first meeting between Barca striker Luis Suarez and Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini since their infamous clash at last summer’s World Cup finals, when Suarez bit his opponent’s shoulder during Uruguay’s victory over Italy.

Chiellini has already stated that he has no problems in facing Suarez, and Enrique agrees that last summer’s incident will not be a factor in Saturday’s encounter.

“That’s history now,” he said. “Everyone is allowed to make a mistake. It’s in the past.”

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