Luis Enrique has claimed his first league title as coach at Barça / FCB

On 21 May 2014 Luis Enrique Martínez was presented as the new FC Barcelona first team coach in the 1899 Auditorium at Camp Nou. “It’s an exciting and special day for me. We are starting to build a new Barça,” said the Asturian in front of the expectant press. After his time coaching the B team he moved on to Italy to take charge at AS Roma. A sabbatical year was then followed by a season with Celta Vigo and then the return to Camp Nou, only this time as first team coach. He knew the demands of taking over at Barça but he appeared optimistic and with the necessary energy to meet the challenge. Almost a year to the day later, Luis Enrique has claimed his first league title as coach at FC Barcelona.

The day of his official presentation, Luis Enrique gave a few hints as to how Barça would be under his direction. With his coaching staff, the Asturian promised to be faithful to the attacking style that has characterised the side over the last few decades with the addition of his own personal style. As such, Barça have ended a demanding league season ahead of their eternal rivals Real Madrid and an ever aggressive Atlético Madrid. With 93 points and 30 wins in 37 matches, the blaugranes have assured themselves of the domestic championship and are just a game away from recording the best defensive numbers in the division , just 19 goals conceded, which would hand goalkeeper Claudio Bravo the Zamora trophy.

Experience at the Club

Arriving at a club like Barça is never easy but Luis Enrique was helped by his eight seasons as a blaugrana between 1996 and 2004 during his long and successful playing career. He was captain of the team in the final stages of his time as a player at Barça and later also spent the year 2008-2011 as coach of Barça B. The man from Asturias was aware of the challenge ahead: “Pressure to win trophies? I want it every day.” His winning nature had always been his personal signature and as Barça coach it would not be any different.

From that perspective, Luis Enrique has led the team firmly in his first campaign, taking the team to the month of May still in with a shout of winning all three trophies. Now he has the league title in his pocket following the win against Atlético Madrid in the Calderón with still a game to go in the league season. Right now, he is also just a possible 90 minutes away from the Spanish Cup title – to be played on 30 May against Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou – and a possible 90 minutes away from the Champions League title with the final to come on 6 June against Juventus in Berlin.

Ninth coach to win league in first season

Of Barça’s 23 league title, nine have come with the winning coach in their first season at the Club. The latest name on that list is that of Luis Enrique and he joins an illustrious group of blaugrana coaches as you can see in the list below:

  • James Bellamy (1928/29)
  • Josep Samitier (1944/45)
  • Enrique Fernández (1947/48)
  • Helenio Herrrera (1958/59)
  • Terry Venables (1984/85)
  • Louis van Gaal (1997/98)
  • Pep Guardiola (2008/09)
  • Tito Vilanova (2012/13)
  • Luis Enrique (2014/15)
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