Enrique pays tribute to Sir Bobby

31 July 2014 02:16

Barcelona's new head coach Luis Enrique has paid tribute to the influence of his old boss Sir Bobby Robson on the fifth anniversary of the former England manager's death.

The Football Association have marked the anniversary with the Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day and a grassroots event next to Ipswich's Portman Road.

Enrique, meanwhile, who has brought his Barcelona team to train at St George's Park near Burton, has spoken out about Robson.

He told www.thefa.com: "As a manager, he had very clear ideas, with an attacking concept of play and an easy and clear philosophy. His natural way of doing things, being very spontaneous, being capable of managing a group, being able to adapt himself to the high expectations of a big team with different circumstances.

"I remember that at half-time he used to grab some plastic glasses to show us the tactics and movements he wanted to see. He was a very talented and easy going person."

It was Enrique's first season as a player at the club too and for that he reason he has special memories of Robson.

"It was a year where we won three trophies, one Cup Winners' Cup, one Kings Cup, one Spanish Super Cup," he added.

"It was a difficult season because it was the year after [Johan] Cruyff had left, and Barcelona decided to sign the services of Robson and his great experience. I think he reached the full expectations.

"I used to appreciate his words of praise, because it was my first year at Barcelona, a very important year for me, and I have to say, I always had a good relationship with him and he always had good things to say about me and that's always nice."

FA general secretary Alex Horne said Sir Bobby epitomised the values of the FA.

He told Press Association Sport: "Sir Bobby Robson encapsulated so much in his career that resonates with the FA.

"He always made player and coach development a priority right through his career and that epitomises what the FA are there for, nurturing footballers and coaches from the bottom of the pyramid right through to the top."

The FA presented a £25,000 cheque to his widow Lady Elsie Robson, for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation which has so far raised more than £7million to fund developments to fight cancer.

She said: "We've achieved far more than we ever expected. He would be astonished to know what we've achieved and what we've done with the money. It unites people who are interested in football and affected by cancer. It unites them somehow across our region and beyond."

Source: PA