FC Barcelona manager to step down at end of season

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FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique on Sunday confirmed he would step down at the end of the season.

Newsverge reports that the 46-year-old, in his third season in charge of Barca, was speaking after their 6-1 win over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday night.

He won the Champions League as part of the treble in his first year, and led them to a domestic double last season.

But they are on the verge of elimination from the Champions League, after losing 4-0 to Paris St-Germain in the last-16 first leg.

“It is a difficult, measured and well thought-out decision and I think I have to be loyal to what I think,” he said.

“I would like to thank the club for the confidence they have shown in me. It’s been three unforgettable years.”

Barca’s win over Sporting took them to the top of La Liga, a point above Real Madrid.

Real Madrid had forced a 3-3 draw away to Las Palmas in a late Wednesday night fixture, but they still have a game in hand.

Former Spain midfielder Enrique played for FC Barcelona between 1996 and his retirement from playing in 2004.

He then coached their B team from 2008 to 2011, returning to the club as first-team boss after spells managing Roma and Celta Vigo.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said: “Luis Enrique has brought us great success and he can still bring us more. The players are motivated to do it.

“We accept Luis Enrique’s decision. He has been a great coach. Now is it time to end his spell in the best possible way.”

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