Skip to main content

Luis Enrique questions FIFA punishment ahead of Celta trip

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has questioned the logic of the FIFA transfer ban that prevents Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal from making their debut for the club.

Turan and Vidal joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid and Sevilla respectively during the close-season, despite the Liga champions being under an embargo relating to them breaking FIFA rules for registering players under the age of 18.

The ban means Barcelona cannot register new players such as Turan and Vidal until after it expires in January. But multiple reports in Spain claim that the club have asked the Royal Spanish Football Federation to fast-track Turan's registration in light of the cruciate knee ligament injury suffered by Rafinha.

"It is not about being optimistic about Arda joining the squad but the club is always is looking for our best options," Luis Enrique said. "But it is up to FIFA and we focus on what we are asked.

"Arda and Aleix would play if we were allowed to have them at our disposal.

"They are living a weird situation, similar when your parents punish the older son for something the little one did."

Luis Enrique was speaking ahead of Barcelona's trip to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Wednesday – a match they enter with a perfect record from four outings this season but only two points better off than their in-form opponents.

The Barca coach expects a tough examination ahead of what he identifies as a tricky run of fixtures at home and abroad.

"I expect a very difficult game, but also a very attractive and interesting one for us against a team with very good results," Luis Enrique said.

"If we aren't at our best level, Celta will destroy us."

"I really like games like Celta, Rayo Vallecano or Bayer Leverkusen because their coaches understand football in a beautiful way. All of these there will be hard games."

Barca welcome Gerard Pique back from suspension for the game, although Luis Enrique confirmed Sandro Ramirez would sit out the contest due to bruising to his left leg.