Luis Suarez has revealed the Barcelona squad were surprised by the news that Luis Enrique will step down as head coach this summer.
Former Spain midfielder Enrique, 46, made the announcement after his side’s 6-1 LaLiga win over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday evening, citing the need to rest.
Enrique has been Barcelona boss since May 2014 and is in the final year of his contract, but nevertheless Suarez and his team-mates were taken aback by the news.
Striker Suarez told Barcelona’s official website: “It has surprised us a little, we didn’t expect it but it is an understandable decision and one that we accept.
“The job of coach is very difficult and requires lots of hours of hard work and he has to enjoy being with his family as well.”
Enrique has the chance to sign off with a memorable trophy treble of LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Champions League – although the latter is unlikely given they trail Paris St Germain 4-0 from their last-16 first leg.
Suarez is optimistic about his side’s chances of overturning that deficit at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
“We believe in the team. It’s very difficult, but not impossible. If we get an early goal they will get nervous because they know we are capable of doing it,” he said.
“We have that ability to turn any situation around. We are an incredible team with desire and ambition. If we were able to score four in the Bernabeu, why not against PSG at Camp Nou. We have to be positive.”
The other two trophies are more attainable with Barcelona top of LaLiga by a point from bitter rivals Real Madrid, who have a game in hand, and through to face Alaves in the Copa del Rey final. The Catalans have won their last five league matches and host Celta Vigo on Saturday ahead of the PSG reunion.
“What characterises us is that we never give up, we always believe in ourselves, and that has given us the results we needed,” Suarez added. “At the moment it’s down to us but we are aware that there are a lot of tough games remaining, no opponent is easy.”