Luis Enrique: Alena broke my heart and I could have eaten him alive

Luis Enrique understands that football is a game, but just like every other sportsman, he hates to lose against rivals. During the match between a third division team Hercules and Barcelona, a series of mistakes from Carles Alena provoked the coach so much that he could have punched his 18-year-old star.

Image: Luis Enrique

For his performance on the pitch during Barca’s first half play against Hercules, Enrique says, “I’d have eaten him.”

Luckily for the Barcelona B midfielder who just got promoted, he went ahead to score his team’s equalizer in the Copa del Rey.

The Wednesday match was Alena’s first for Barcelona. A series of mistakes portrayed him as playing under pressure. He was eventually blamed for wrong positioning, a sign that there’s so much more to learn with the squad.

However, football analysts don’t think the starlet’s first-team debut for the Catalans was completely a disaster.

Alena merited a position through hardwork and will improve with time – just like Ibrahimovic and every other star before him at Camp Nou.

Enrique, 46, granted a post-match interview.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted,” the Coach said.

“The tie isn’t over and [the second leg] is going to be difficult for us. It’s difficult to finalise these types of games.

“We made many changes. I saw a good attitude from the team in general.

“We won’t pretend that in two training sessions, our young players can assimilate all the first-team’s concepts, but I’m happy with their idea and second half.

“It’s always very difficult to create chances when so many players are behind the ball. And when we don’t play with our usual forwards, it’s even harder.

“I’m satisfied with the goal that Alena scored, but in the first half if I caught him, I’d have eaten him!

“Positionally he needs to improve, that he receives the ball in easy areas of the pitch like I do at 46.

“We expect a lot from him and we’ll be on top of his development.”

Image shows Luis Enrique and Barca’s star player Lionel Messi.

Alena moved to Barcelona’s youth system, La Masia, in 2006 after a successful trials. He was only 8 years old at that time.

The footballer was included in Barcelona’s main squad on 10 February 2016, remaining an unused substitute in their 1–1 away draw against Valencia CF in the second leg of Copa del Rey semi-finals.