Luis Enrique Plays Down Gossip Over Lionel Messi And Gerard Pique Casino Pictures



Barcelona boss Luis Enrique says he has no interest in "gossip" and refused to comment on photographs ofLionel Messi, Gerard Pique and former Blaugrana team-mate Cesc Fabregas out at a casino ahead of his side's Champions League clash at Manchester City on Tuesday.

Luis Enrique's side lost 1-0 at home to Malaga on Saturday to fall four points behind rivals Real Madrid in La Liga as Carlo Ancelotti's side beat Elche 2-0 on Sunday. And later that night, Messi and Pique were pictured outside Barcelona's casino on an evening out with friend and former Barca team-mate Fabregas.

But asked about his players' soiree, Luis Enrique said: "I focus on football. I'm not interested in gossip.

"I speak and I analyse everything I need to comment on, Barcelona fans can rest assured. But I won't give any analysis on something that has a bad intention."

Earlier, Pique had also been questioned on the topic and replied: "It's my private life. A friend came over from London and we had a good time."

On Tuesday's game itself, the Barca boss said: "There are no favourites in these type of matches. We have to prove ourselves on the pitch."

Barca's 1-0 defeat on Saturday has raised questions ahead of the tie against City, but Luis Enrique says there is no need for drama.

"There's no catastrophy," he said. And with regard to his side's recent run, he added: "We lost a game and I would be happy to win another 11 if it means losing again."

Like Pique, Luis Enrique inisted he was happy to be playing again so soon after a defeat.

"It's a good thing to be playing every three days," he said. "We want to put the Malaga game begind us. We will still aspire to win all the competitions."

The Barca boss also heaped praise on striker Luis Suarez, who has struggled for goals since moving to the Catalan club.

"I would make a very positive assessment of his first season," the 44-year-old said. "He gives us a lot: he has a great shot, he links up well, he draws defenders and allows us to open spaces behind the defence."