Javi Gracia and Luis Enrique will come face to face on Saturday / PHOTOMONTAGE: FCB

Luis Enrique and Javi Gracia, born just seven days apart in 1970, both made their professional debuts in 1989/90 and retired in 2004.

The FC Barcelona manager made his first appearance with Sporting Gijón in the Primera División while the Málaga boss made his debut for Bilbao Athletic in the second division. The pair both hung up their boots in the same league as they started: Luis Enrique brought an end to an illustrious career as Barça captain while Gracia called it quits at Cordoba.

In their 15 year careers, they came up against each other ten times, all in the top division. The first of those duels was when Luis Enrique was playing for Real Madrid and Gracia at Valladolid in a goalless draw at the Nuevo Zorrilla.

Four wins and three goals for Luis Enrique

In their encounters, Luis Enrique was a winner on four occasions, twice with Madrid and twice with Barça. Both of the victories enjoyed by Gracia were against Barça, first in his time at Real Sociedad and the other for Villarreal, while four of their meetings ended in a draw.

Luis Enrique scored three times in those ten matches, once wearing the white of Madrid and twice in Barça colours.

Six clashes as managers

After long playing careers, Luis Enrique and Javi Gracia turned to management, where they have gone head-to-head six times.

Their first clashes came in the 2010-11 season when Luis Enrique’s Barça B took on Gracia’s Villarreal B: Enrique’s side won 4-1 at the Miniestadi but lost 2-3 on the road.

In the Primera, they have met four times, sharing two draws and one victory apiece.