Barcelona's Luis Enrique says there's no controversy in players' casino visit

Barcelona have brushed off talk of controversy over a visit to a casino by two star players ahead of their Champions League clash with Manchester City.

Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique were both pictured with former teammate Cesc Fabregas outside a casino in Barcelona late on Sunday night, hours before they were to travel to Manchester.

Coming soon after the team's 11-game winning streak was ended by defeat to Malaga in the Primera Division on Saturday, the photographs have prompted renewed talk of crisis at the Nou Camp following difficulties earlier in the season.

But coach Luis Enrique and Pique himself were bemused by discussion of the matter as they arrived at the Etihad Stadium for a press conference to preview the first leg of their last-16 tie with City.

There was certainly no suggestion that either player had broken a curfew or any club rules.

"This guy must work for one of the Spanish channels!" said Luis Enique when the question was put to him by an English journalist. "I concentrate on football, not stuff outside it. No gossip. I am not interested."

Pique, the former Manchester United defender, did not deny that he had been to the casino and was not particularly flustered by mention of it.

The 28-year-old said: "It is my private life. We just had a nice time there."