Luis Enrique and Gary Neville share many qualities, both captained their sides to great success as players and both are considered articulate and intelligent students of the modern game. We cast an eye on the parallels and differences on both coaches’ long and distinguished careers in the game.
The two players only faced each other as players on one occasion, 16 September 1998 at Old Trafford in the group stage of the Champions’ League. Luis Enrique scored the equaliser for Barça with just over quarter of an hour to go in the 3-3 draw against Manchester United.
Both players featured in exactly 400 league games during their playing careers. Luis Enrique’s total was spread over three clubs, Sporting Gijón, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona (207 coming as a blaugrana).
Gary Neville was a one club man, playing all his 400 matches for Manchester United.
In total Luis Enrique’s club career comprised of some 558 matches in which he scored 144 goals. Defender Neville managed 7 goals in his 602-game club career.
The current FC Barcelona boss claimed the league title three times as players, once with Real Madrid in 1995 and with Barça in 1998 and 1999. Luis Enrique also added a league title as a coach last season in the blaugranes’ epic treble winning campaign.
Valencia boss Neville won eight league titles with Manchester United between 1996 and 2009. He also won three FA Cups with United with Luis Enrique having claimed the Copa del Rey three times as a player and once as a coach (that treble season again last year!).
‘Lucho’ won the UEFA Super Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup with Barça as a player. His counterpart won the Champions League twice as player, the first coming at Camp Nou in 1999 in the final against Bayern Munich and the second towards the end of his career in 2008.
As a player the famous trophy eluded Luis Enrique but as a coach he put that right in 2015 with Barça’s famous victory over Juventus in Berlin.