luis Enrique - Decision to miss FIFA awards was made by the players

Enrique - Decision to miss FIFA awards was made by the players

10/01/2017 at 16:34Updated 10/01/2017 at 18:54

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has revealed that the decision to miss the FIFA awards on Monday was entirely down to the players.

The Best FIFA Football Awards were held in Zurich on Monday, as FIFA hosted their own awards show following the split from France Football who present the Ballon d'Or.

The ceremony was conspicuous in the absence of key Barcelona players such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique amongst others.

Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique

Lionel Messi, Gerard PiqueReuters

The decision was widely criticised with former Barcelona full-back Dani Alves one of those to say that he felt that his old team-mates should have attended.

However speaking at a press conference ahead of the Copa del Rey match with Athletic Bilbao, one of the reasons cited for the absence, Enrique said that the club did not force the players to miss the event.

"In principle, the idea to go or not is individual,

"As their coach, I can only back their decision. There's a sporting situation that's more important.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique reacts

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique reactsReuters

"There are certain commitments the players must take into account. I back their decision 100 per cent."

The overall best player award was given to Cristiano Ronaldo who said that he would have preferred the Barcelona players, including his great sporting rival Messi, to be there.

When asked about Ronaldo's comments Enrique replied "I'm very lucky - I haven't seen any TV for a week."