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Luis Enrique has joined a select group of managers who have taken a team to the Champions League Final and what’s more, he’s done it in his very first year in charge of the side and in his first ever season as a coach in the continent’s top competition.
Since the European Cup changed its format in the 1992/93 season, there have been 11 coaches who have led their team to the Champions League Final in their debut season at their club. The full list is:
Roberto Di Matteo
Louis van Gaal
Following in the steps of Orizaola and Guardiola
Luis Enrique is the third coach in the Club’s history to coach a side to the final in his first season, following on from Enrique Orizaola and Pep Guardiola.
Enrique Orizaola took over the side in January 1961 after the departure of the Serbian Ljubisa Brocic and in his five months at the Club he reached the European Cup Final in Bern, where Barça lost 3-2 to Benfica in what proved to be Orizola’s last game in charge.
Bayern Munich’s current manager Pep Guardiola had a superb debut season at Barça in 2008/09, winning the League and Cup titles, as well as claiming the Champions League in Rome.
Barça’s other appearances in the final, in 1986 under Terry Venables, 1992 and 1994 with Johan Cruyff, 2006 with Frank Rijkaard and 2011 under Pep Guardiola, all came about with coaches who’d had more than a season at the Club.
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