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Luis Enrique to quit as Barcelona coach

Luis Enrique has announced that he will step down as Barcelona coach in the summer, the 46-year-old having been in charge since the departure of Gerardo Martino in 2014.

Luis Enrique is stepping down as Barcelona coach
Luis Enrique is stepping down as Barcelona coach ©AFP/Getty Images

In the wake of a 6-1 defeat of Sporting Gijón in the Liga, Luis Enrique has announced that he will step down as Barcelona coach this summer.

"This is a very difficult decision for me which I have thought about for a very long time but I think I have to be honest and fair about what I think," he said. "Pre-season, I had a meeting with [club directors] Albert Soler and Robert Fernández in which I told them about the possibility of not renewing my contract. They told me there was no hurry to make a decision.

"Now that moment has arrived. The reason is that in my work I am constantly looking for solutions and that means I get no time to rest, I need to rest and that's my main reason [for leaving].

Highlights: See Paris put four past Barcelona
Highlights: See Paris put four past Barcelona

"I would like to express my gratitude to the club for the confidence they have shown in me throughout my career. They gave me the chance to coach the reserve team. I did that, and these last three years have been unforgettable. I would like to thank them for their support and professionalism and I will not forget that we have three very exciting months left together."

Since taking charge in 2014, following the departure of Gerardo Martino, the 46-year-old Luis Enrique has led Barcelona to two successive Liga titles as well as a UEFA Champions League success in his first season in command. His side are challenging for the title again this season but are in danger of an early UEFA Champions League exit following a 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their round of 16 tie, which concludes at Camp Nou next week.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu added: "We're very happy with the work he has done up to know and with what he has left to do. We have to accept the coach's decision and support him. Now we have to focus on the competitions in the next three months, but Luis Enrique will leave in the summer and we've had a super coach in the last three years.

"He told the players today that he won't be continuing. It's a sad situation because he's a good coach and he has given us a lot of success. The players are still super motivated. They are in three competitions and have training tomorrow so we'll keep working until 30 June.

"We've won eight out of ten trophies – that's hard to improve on, and we've still got the rest of the season to go, which will be very exciting. He's showcased us well and we're still so happy with him. No-one can doubt he's one of the best coaches Barcelona have had."