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Playing behind closed doors is sadder than dancing with your own sister – Enrique

The 50-year-old has lamented the lack of atmosphere in games played without fans, but is buoyed by things slowly returning to normality

Former Barcelona boss and current head coach of the Spanish national team Luis Enrique has said that the resumption of play behind closed doors is “sadder than dancing with your own sister”, but added that he is happy that there will at least be some form of football.

For most teams across the world, football has been either suspended or leagues have been prematurely ended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, although there are some competitions that have either returned to action or plan to in the near future.

The German Bundesliga was the first of Europe’s top-five leagues to recommence play, with strict health and safety protocols put in place to ensure minimum risk of infection for players, officials and ground staff.

No major problems have arisen so far, but many are far from happy with the state of affairs due to the lack of fans in stadiums, meaning little to no atmosphere to add additional excitement and spur players on to perform at a higher standard.

Luis Enrique shares that opinion, but admits that having games on television again will help pass the time during lockdown as well as get money flowing again.

“Playing behind closed doors is sadder than dancing with your own sister,” the Spain boss told Colgados del Aro, before adding: “You have to understand that football is a business – and it will help to pass the time during lockdown.

“I, if I was still a player, would like to start again as soon as possible. I am not afraid.”

The former Barca coach covered a range of topics, including his love for tennis player Rafa Nadal – despite the 33-year-old being a Real Madrid fan – and the trainers who inspired him the most throughout his playing career.Article continues below

“I have always said that [Louis] van Gaal was the best or one of the best coaches I ever had,” the Gijon native said. “But over time I have realised that [Javier] Clemente (former Spain boss), through the energy he created and also his tactics, reached a new level. 

“If he told me ‘go through here, go through there’, if he told me to throw myself in front of something then I would. I would have thrown myself in front of whatever was necessary for him.

“So yes – and this is the first time I’ve said it – I would like to have a lot of Javier Clemente’s qualities as a coach.”

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