‘Pitu’ Abelardo and Luis Enrique have a lot in common: born within a month of each other in the same city in Spain, Gijón, the two were team mates at their home town club of Sporting, FC Barcelona and the Spanish national side and both have moved into management following the end of their playing careers. It comes as no surprise then to find out that the two are also firm friends.
Abelardo, who up until January of this year, was coach of Sporting Gijón, took advantage of his newly found free time to pay a visit to Barça and give his opinion on his friend’s announcement that he is to leave the Club at the end of the season. “It was a well thought out decision, he will have been here three year coaching at the top level, winning practically everything and playing extraordinary football,” remarked the former Barça defender.
He continued: “Being at Barça for three years means a lot of pressure and we can’t forget that he has also spent three years with Barça B, a season with Rome and another with Celta.”
The man who guided Sporting to nail-biting escape from relegation last season also cast his eye over the upcoming Champions League quarter-final tie for his former club against Juventus. “They will make it difficult for Barça, they are very solid defensively, they have great qualities, great players and they are leading the Italian league,” concluded Abelardo.