Atletico Madrid were the scourge of Barcelona last season but the Catalans’ coach Luis Enrique says they will not be on a revenge mission when they visit the Calderon on Sunday looking to win back their La Liga crown.
Barca hold a four-point lead at the top of the table with two games remaining and will clinch the title with victory over Atletico, irrespective of how second-place Real Madrid get on in their simultaneous match against Espanyol.
It would be Luis Enrique’s first silverware as Barca coach, having joined the club last year.
His side are still on course for a treble thanks to their devastating form in the second half of the season, led by the lethal attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Atletico claimed the title on the last day of last season at Barca’s Nou Camp stadium in a winner-takes-all finale at the end of a campaign where they also knocked the Catalans out of the Champions League.
“There is no feeling among the players of revenge. Atletico were just champions and had a great season. It was unique and now this season is totally different,” the Barca coach told a news conference.
“We are not looking for revenge and for us the opportunity to win the title is enough of an incentive.”
Barca have bounced back under Luis Enrique, having last won the title two years ago and failed to win any silverware under former coach Gerardo Martino last season.
They now have the chance to repeat their 2009 treble success.
“We are aware that we can go on and do something that the club has achieved only once before in its history,” said Luis Enrique.
“I think that there is a lot of merit in what we have done so far to reach this point and from here, there is still a long way to go and the players are realistic.”
Barca have knocked Atletico out of the King’s Cup this season and beaten them at home in La Liga, but their coach is well aware of the danger that Sunday’s opponents pose.
Atletico are in a fight for third place in the table and hold a four-point lead over Valencia below them.
“We have had three good games against them but at home they are very strong. It will be a very tricky game for us,” he said.