Luis Enrique plays down importance of top spot

Luis Enrique plays down importance of top spot

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique on Tuesday branded Wednesday`s Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain as "not crucial".

Barca trail the French champions by a point in Group F and must win the Camp Nou encounter in order to finish top of the pool, thus theoretically securing an easier draw in the second round.

Both sides have already qualified for the knock-out stages.

"It`s an important match but not the most important of the season. There will be a lot of others," said Enrique.

"This match has only relative importance because there will be nothing definitive.

"You`ll see that there will be some teams coming second in their groups who can qualify.

"I`d prefer to be first but it`s not a definitive advantage. I don`t think it`s crucial."

Although he was not playing up the importance of winning the game, Enrique vowed to attack the Parisians, despite admitting he is concerned about being caught on the counter-attack.

"The idea is to attack, as ever. We want to win, as we try to do every game.

"But Paris have the same aspirations, they`re a candidate to win the title.

"So we know they`re opponents who will ask us a lot of questions.

"We have to avoid being caught on the counter, we have to be balanced and not attack too much.

"That`s the theory, but the practice is more difficult because you can fall in love with the ball."

Enrique also played down the significance of PSG`s star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic`s return to the club where he spent one season -- deemed in some quarters to have been unsuccessful, despite Barca winning the title that year, in 2009/10.

The big Swede missed the return fixture in Paris in September, in which the Catalans were beaten 3-2.

"In the first game, PSG won without Ibra. They have a squad full of quality that surpasses one single player," said Enrique.

"But with him, they have more potential. It`s the top level. If he plays to his best, he`ll be difficult to control.

"But if we play as a team, he`ll see less of the ball. But we know he`s an incredible player, fantastic."