South Korea
Match 12
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Match 13
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LIVE 68'
Match 14
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3:00 PM UTC Jun 19, 2018
Match 16
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12:00 PM UTC Jun 19, 2018
Match 15
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6:00 PM UTC Jun 19, 2018
Match 17
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Andres Iniesta backs Luis Enrique

Andres Iniesta insists that the Barcelona squad have "total faith" in new coach Luis Enrique as the former Blaugrana midfielder prepares for the start of the new Primera Liga campaign.

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Enrique -- who played for Barca between 1996 and 2004 -- has returned to replace Tata Martino following a trophyless 2013-14 campaign in which Atletico Madrid won La Liga at Camp Nou on the final day of the season, while Real Madrid collected La Decima -- their tenth European Cup.

The 44-year-old has already had to deal with criticism that his preseason preparations have not included enough match practice, but Iniesta -- who is one of the club's four new captains alongside Lionel Messi, Xavi and Sergio Busquets -- says his teammates are ready for success under their new boss.

"We are training hard," he told reporters at a press event on Monday. "We are slowly grasping what the manager wants from us. The preseason is helping us to get into shape and for the team to start getting better.

"I think it's better this way, especially with so many new people. This way we can learn new concepts. It's the perfect formula for a preseason. Let's hope it's right and that we'll play better for it.

"Luis Enrique is a demanding manager but almost all the work we do is with the ball. It's nice to work on tactics that way. The important thing is for the players to believe in the manager, and in that respect, we all have total faith."

Iniesta revealed that Luis Suarez is raring to go for his new club as he waits to find out whether the appeal over his four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup will be successful, stating: "He's dying to start. It's very important for him to be with the squad, the sooner the better."

The 30-year-old midfielder believes that teammate Messi will rediscover his form and confidence following a testing season, stating: "After a year that didn't go so well, he's just as keen and enthusiastic as we all are this season. He has that eagerness that we all have after a bad year."

Iniesta also believes that Neymar has the ability to handle the pressure despite only being 22, saying: "We're hoping for the best for him because he's good enough to make history at Barca."

While Cesc Fabregas has been sold to Chelsea, competition for midfield places will be fierce at Camp Nou following the arrival of Ivan Rakitic -- but Iniesta has welcomed the former Sevilla captain as a valuable signing.

"We all knew how good [Rakitic] is," he added. "I'm delighted that he's joined our team with the single target of winning titles. He's a spectacular player in midfield."


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