Luis Enrique Named "Best Manager In The World" By PSG President Al-Khelaifi After Victory Over His Former Team Barcelona.

  •  Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi heaps praises on Luis Enrique, labelling him as ‘the best manager in the world’ after a superb performance that saw PSG knock-out Barcelona in the quarter-final of the Champions League.

  • Luis Enrique pulled off two epic comebacks, 7 years apart, first with Barcelona in 2017, then with PSG in 2024. 

Post-match PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi expressed delight at his decision to bring Luis Enrique to the club in the summer. 

“Everyone fought for each other [tonight]. Everyone was a warrior. Everyone really wanted to qualify for the semi-final,” Al-Khelaifi said, according to Canal+.

“We have a really great manager, the best in the world.”

Barcelona saw their hopes of making it through to the Champions League semi-finals get crushed last night as they were beaten 1-4 by PSG in the quarter-final second leg.

Having come into the game with a 3-2 win in the first leg, the Catalans took an early lead on Tuesday night through Raphinha and progression to the next round appeared very likely.

Raphinha put Barcelona 1-0 up on the night (4-2 on aggregate), courtesy of an assist from winger Lamine Yamal (16 years and 278 days) who became the youngest player to register a goal involvement in the knockout stages of the Champions League. 

But a Ronald Araujo sending-off in the 29th minute flipped the script altogether, as the defender was dismissed for bringing down Bradley Barcola.

PSG somehow forced their way back into the game and goals from Ousmane Dembele, Vitinha and a Kylian Mbappe brace saw the Parisians win 4-1 in Spain, claiming the tie 6-4 on aggregate.


Luis Enrique became the first former Barcelona manager to eliminate the Spanish team from a UEFA Champions League knockout stage tie, and the third Spaniard to do so after Rafael Benítez with Liverpool in 2006–07 (round of 16) and Vicente del Bosque with Real Madrid in 2001–02 (semi-finals). 

The only two times Barcelona has conceded four goals or more in a home Champions League/European Cup knockout game have come against PSG, who also defeated the Spanish team 4-1 in the round-of-16 at Camp Nou in February 2021. 

These kinds of comebacks, or "remontadas," are nothing new to PSG boss Luis Enrique; in fact, he pulled off something akin to this in March 2017 while managing Barcelona—against his present employers, no less.

Seven years ago, Barça defeated PSG 6-1 in a comeback that is still remembered to this day. Now, Enrique has added another historic comeback victory to his record.

PSG is currently in their 16th UEFA Champions League campaign. They have only reached the competition's semi-finals four times overall, doing so in 1994-95, 2019-20, 2020-21, and now 2023-24.

After Thomas Tuchel, Luis Enrique could be just the second manager to lead PSG to a Champions League final.

So, when asked if he is now the ‘King of Remontada, Enrique replied: “No I just want to play a high-level semi-final.”

He then admitted that it was tough on him to face Barcelona and that he hoped he does not have to take on them again, saying:

“It was tough to face Barça. In sentimental, emotional terms for me. And in football terms  I hope I never have to face them again. I'm super contented to have gone through though.

"The best feeling when you are a player or a coach is seeing that your work makes people happy. There's nothing better than that. You can't buy that feeling. The feeling of getting something special for the club is great. Now we need to cope with the final and try to get ourselves to the final."

However, Enrique opined that though Ronald Araújo's red card during the game created challenges for Barcelona and advantages for PSG, and that even if Araujo was not sent off, his PSG side would have won.

“Even without Araujo’s red card, we would have won, but I can’t prove it,” the Asturian said.

“I was very proud. You have to hope for the day that changes everything and it was today. We are very happy.

“We started in an unbelievable rhythm, taking control of the ball. The first time they go to our box, they score.

"For me, it was very unfair but we didn’t change the way we play.

"The (red) of Araujo, I didn’t see but it was (then) more difficult for Barca and better for us.”

At the same time, Enrique has asked Xavi Hernandez to reverse his decision to leave Barcelona this summer, stating that he believes Xavi is the ideal man for the Barca's job.

Xavi announced he would be leaving at the end of the season in January. He has remained adamant that will not change, and until Barcelona’s elimination at the hands of PSG, there was plenty of talk that Barca Atletic manager Rafael Marquez is expected to take over from him.

“Xavi is the ideal coach for Barca, I hope and wish that he continues to be so for many more years, but it is not my decision,” Enrique noted.

PSG will now face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final for a place in Wembley's final.

On his Les Parisiens team, Enrique added; "He (Mbappe) was a leader from start to finish, and when a team senses that a player as important as him is ready to bring everyone with him, you make the most of it. I'd like to speak about Vitinha, too: he battles, he has the quality in his final ball. Dembele was superb as well, even if it was difficult for him to play here too."

Mbappe will continue with PSG for the rest of the season and will hope to lead the club to a first ever Champions League triumph. PSG are also close to yet another Ligue 1 title as the team currently sit 10 points clear at the top of the table.

Luis Enrique has already won the French Super Cup in January vs Toulouse, he is in the Coupe de France final where they would face Lyon, and finally in the semi-finals of the Champions League. 

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