Luis Enrique Martínez


Luis Enrique is a coach with character who knows the Club inside out after his career as a player at Barça

At 36 years of age, he took the football coaching course alongside such illustrious names as Josep Guardiola, Guillermo Amor, Albert Ferrer, and Sergi Barjuán, amongst others. Thus, in June 2008 he took charge of Barça Athletic, former name of Barca B, a team that had been promoted the previous season from the Third Division to Second Division B. He took over from Pep Guardiola, who was to take charge of the first team alongside Tito Vilanova.

Lucho had a lot of success coaching the Barça B. In the 2008/09 season they finished in fifth place in their group in Second Division B, although they didn’t gain the desired promotion, something they did achieve a season later thanks to a great generation of players like Sergi Roberto Marc Bartra, Martin Montoya, Thiago Alcantara, and Jonathan Soriano. With these players the team cames second in the regular season, and then gained promotion to Second Division A, beating Jaen and San Andreu in  the play-offs.

The icing on the cake came in the 2010/11 season, when Luis Enrique achieved the highest position in the history of Barça reserves in the second division of Spanish football, with 71 points (20 wins, 11 draws, and 11 defeats) coming third in the championship behind Betis and Rayo Vallecano, who both won direct promotion to the Premier Division, and ahead of Granada, who also gained promotion that season

After this milestone, Luis Enrique decided to try his luck outside of Spain and made the leap to become coach of AS Roma, one of the most important teams in the 'calcio', where he had Bojan Krkic in his team, on loan from FC Barcelona. He finished the season in seventh place in the League, and was knocked-out in the semifinals of the Italian Cup, and the qualifying rounds of the Europa League 2011/12.

After a season out of football, in the 2013/14 season Luis Enrique returned to Spanish football to manage Celta Vigo, where he coincided with Rafinha, on loan from FC Barcelona, and Nolito and Fontàs, former Barça players. Lucho’s season was pretty impressive: Celta ended La Liga season in a dignified ninth place and he received praise from everyone for his strong methodical and winning character.

As a player Luis Enrique played for Xeitosa and La  Braña, and as a professional, for Sporting and Real Madrid before coming to FC Barcelona in the summer of 1996, with Bobby Robson at the helm. Lucho changed the Bernabeu for the Camp Nou, but his adaptation at the Club was so fast that he soon became one of the most beloved players by the Barcelona fans who always valued both his unwavering point of honor and fighting spirit, as well as his strong identification with the team colors. Luis Enrique, who got to wear the captain's armband, played for Barça until 2004, and got to play with players who are still in the team, like Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.

Luis Enrique made his official debut for the Club like a coach on 24 August 2014 in La Liga against Elche. The match ended with a Barça's victory (3-0).