Barcelona manager Luis Enrique says that he is not concerned about whether the penalties taken by Neymar or Lionel Messi.
The latter has been the default penalty taker for Barcelona for a number of years now. However, the presence of Neymar has provided a challenge for this role. The Brazilian recently took the spot kick duties in the Copa del Rey match against Villarreal. Barcelona were heading to a comfortable 3-1 victory when they were awarded a late penalty. It would have certainly sealed the tie if the penalties had been converted, but Neymar missed the chance to put Barcelona 4-1 up in the match.
This was the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final and it still hangs in the balance as a result of this missed penalty. Messi has also missed a couple of penalties in recent years and hence Enrique says that he is not concerned whether Messi or someone else takes the penalties. Neymar has been in fine form for the Catalan club this campaign. He is widely seen to be coming of age after scoring 24 goals in just 28 matches. This tally is just a couple short of Messi’s record for the campaign. Messi has 38 goals from 32 matches.
“Messi takes the penalties. Today they decided together that Neymar would take it. I guess Neymar must have asked.I have full confidence in both, but Messi is our penalty taker. Neymar is second on the list, it was a decision they made themselves,” said Enrique after the match. After a few chokes during the middle of the campaign, Barcelona are starting to assert the superiority in the league and in several other cup competitions. They will be hoping to carry this form into the Champions League where they once again face Manchester City.