Xavi responds to Luis Enrique: “Both of us have Barça DNA.”

While it’s the memory of 2017’s Remontada which has dominated the narrative of tomorrow’s clash at the Parc des Princes, PSG’s manager Luis Enrique’s reunion with the club he played for and managed has offered an unexpectedly contentious subplot.

In particular, tomorrow’s first leg will see the former Spain manager go up against his former teammate and captain during the illustrious treble-winning campaign of 2015, on the opposite bench.

With the Asturian bombastically asserting earlier in the day that he embodied the Catalans’ style of play more than the World Cup winner, Xavi opted for a more diplomatic response to his former manager. Speaking at tonight’s press conference at the Parc des Princes, the 44-year-old took a more conciliatory view of the question:

“We have a good relationship, I respect him. For me, he’s one of the best coaches in the world. He has a team that’s built to win the Champions League. Both of us have Barça DNA, as do Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta – there’s four of us who are in the Champions League quarter-finals. I think we’re all looking for the same thing – pressing high up the pitch, holding onto the ball and building out from the back with it.”

“Arteta, Guardiola, Luis Enrique and I players who worked under the Barcelona philosophy. All of us were also midfielders, which helped us as we were able to analyse the game in its entirety.”

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