Luis Enrique and Eduardo Berizzo are two of the youngest managers in La Liga

On Saturday, the Camp Nou brings together two members of the younger generation of coaches, Luis Enrique and Eduardo Berizzo, who are in charge of FC Barcelona and Celta Vigo, respectively. It’s not that long since either of them hung up their boots, and now they are back at clubs where they made their names as players.

Two head-to-heads

In their days at Barça and Celta, Luis Enrique and Berizzo spent four years competing against each other in La Liga. The Argentinian, after shining in the ranks of River Plate, was brought to Galicia for the 2000/01 season. And that was the only year that he and Luis Enrique played in the same match. It happened twice, first in the quarter final second leg of the UEFA Cup, after Luis Enrique had sat out the 2-1 win at the Camp Nou. At Balaídos, they were both on the pitch, and although Celta won 3-2, Barça progressed by virtue of the away goals rule.

Shortly after, Celta returned to the Camp Nou for a Liga fixture that ended 1-1. Berizzo played all 90 minutes, while Luis Enrique was substituted after 82. This was one of the finest Celta teams ever, that year achieving what would be the fourth of a run of six straight top ten finishes. But although they would play Barça several times again, it so happens that Luis Enrique and Berizzo would never be on the pitch at the same time again.

Managing well

After retiring as players, Luis Enrique and Eduardo Berizzo both embarked on managerial careers. The former gained his first experience at Barça B, then AS Roma, and finally Celta, before coming back to the Camp Nou at the start of the current season. And the man who replaced him in Vigo was none other than Berizzo, who before that had coached Estudiantes in his native Argentina before leading O’Higgins to the Chilean championship.

Fourteen years after playing against each other in Barça and Celta shirts, the two managers are now set to face each other again, with the same teams, but in a very different role.

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