July 29, 2014
Spanish league — BarcelonaThursday, May 22, 2014
Luis Enrique promises new start
BARCELONA — Former Barcelona player Luis Enrique promised a new start for the Catalan club after signing a two-year contract to become coach yesterday.
“We believe that this is the beginning of a new Barcelona, a Barcelona that will excite again,” Luis Enrique said. “When I left Barça the club told me that it was a ‘see you later.’”
The 44-year-old Luis Enrique won two league titles as a Barcelona player from 1996-2004 and coached its B team from 2008-11. He also coached at Roma, and led Celta Vigo to a respectable ninth-place finish this season after installing an attractive passing attack on the Barcelona model.
Luis Enrique’s hiring continues a recent tradition of in-house coaches recently represented in Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova. That string was broken when Gerardo Martino was hastily brought in last year after Vilanova resigned to focus on his battle with throat cancer that he eventually lost last month.
“I don’t rely too heavily on tactical knowhow, instead I focus on managing a group, managing egos,” he said. “There is work that goes on during the week, work based on knowing each player. I try to be everything a leader is.”