Luis Enrique extols virtues of Barca’s magical trio as they get set to face Arsenal

So how does Luis Enrique get the best out of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar? Simple.

Luis Enrique extols virtues of Barca’s magical trio as they get set to face Arsenal

“I tell them ‘abracadabra’ and the magic sparks,” he says. “That is all I do.”

There may have been a wry smile on the Barcelona manager’s face when he uttered those words, but that answer he gave on exactly how he coaches perhaps the greatest forward line of all time speaks volumes.

Barca’s attacking triumvirate has been simply majestic this season and, at times, unplayable. Their goal tally for the season has already reached 91. A century beckons.

The problem now facing Arsenal is how to stop the tremendous trio.

Arsene Wenger hailed their attacking talents when he was quizzed on them, but also confessed he won’t be having sleepless nights on how to stop them.

Perhaps, instead, he just has dreams about coaching them?

However, that honour falls to Enrique, who confesses that there are occasions when he doesn’t even need to give out instructions.

It’s as if Messi, Suarez and Neymar already know what do before their manager has bellowed his demands from the touchline.

“I’m delighted with those three and also with the squad,” said Enrique.

“I have three great players, they are the chosen ones, they are eager to win and every two or three days they have new motivation. I see them training and I’m delighted to be their manager.

“I always work really hard and I always have the chance to have plenty of good strikers in my squad, it is quite simple, quite easy.

“In some situations you don’t even have to wish what you would like them to do, they already do it.

“We have to work hard so our midfielders can give them the ball. We all have the same targets and we know how difficult it is to achieve those targets.”

The triple threat of Messi, Suarez and Neymar has made Barcelona, in Wenger’s eyes, “super favourites” for this Champions League last-16 tie.

Beyond their forward line, though, the Spanish champions’ riches continue to flow. A quick glance at a midfield of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets reminds you that the forward’s supply line is equally deadly.

And while it does make Barcelona favourites for the pivotal clash at the Emirates, it is a tag that Enrique has no problems with.

“I think it is fantastic,” he said.

“He [Wenger] can have his own opinion and we are the current champions so it is logical that we are tagged as the favourites against Arsenal but being favourites means nothing.

“We have to prove ourselves game after game. We are not going to change anything about how we have been doing this year. We have to do well with and without the ball.”

The confidence oozing from Enrique was evident on the pitch as Barcelona trained ahead of their match with Arsenal.

There was plenty of laughter and even a jokey punishment for Suarez as he brought an end to one of the squad’s keep-ball sessions with a sloppy pass. The Uruguayan was jumped on by his team-mates like children in a school playground.

The enjoyment was there for all to see and such a love of the game will no doubt be on display tonight.

Like Enrique, Rakitic was quizzed on Messi, Suarez, and Neymar and their impressive form.

Just as his manager did, the Croatian wore a broad grin as he discussed the trio and explained how their love of the game reminded him of his youth.

“We are really happy about having those three in our squad,” said Rakitic.

“It makes you really proud and I wouldn’t say that they never rest or they never stop playing in a game, I would say that if they didn’t play they wouldn’t like it.

“Because they are like children playing football and it would be like taking the ball away from them.

“We must try to help them be better, those three players make us a different team and hopefully they make us better.

“We have to focus on what we do and we are really delighted to play with Messi, Suarez, and Neymar.”

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