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18.06.2008 12:30

Luis Enrique: "I have returned home"


Luis Enrique Martínez was presented as the new coach Barça B, which will be known as Barça Atlètic from next season, and admitted that he was excited to return to the club he graced as a player.

The former attacking midfielder played for the Blaugana between 1996 and 2004 and will take over from Pep Guardiola in charge of the club's second tier outfit in la Segunda A next term. The Asturian spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon and revealed his delight at starting his coaching career at the club where he retired from playing.

Alongside president Joan Laporta and the director of the Youth set-up, José Ramón Alexanco, Luis Enrique said that he felt like "I have come home". He added: "I finished playing here and now I will start coaching here."

Hard work and determination

"I am going into the challenge with real desire," he conotnued. "I know that I may not have any experience, because I am just starting out, but I have been in plenty of dressing rooms with players of so many levels before. What I can guarantee is hard work, determination and total dedication."

luisenrique180608_x4x.jpgLuis Enrique then thanked Laporta and Alexanco for showing confidence in him and giving him the chance to take on this "interesting and demanding project". In the last few weeks, the 38-year-old has held numerous meetings with Guardiola to "find all the detals about the team, but without interfering because the players were all focussed on winning promotion".

Barbarà steps up

Joan Barbarà, who has worked with the club's youth teams for five years, will become Luis Enrique's number two. The former Salamanca player has already been Pep Boada's assistant with Barça C and with Quique Costas for the B team.

Vital characteristics

luisenrique180608_x3x.jpgAlexanco explained why the club had chosen Luis Enrique for the role: "He is a brave, young coach and we needed a great character to replace Pep Guardiola, who has proven himself and stepped up to the first team now." Joan Laporta then added: "His character stands out, his desire and his commitment that he showed durng his time as a player and they will all be transmitted into his coaching. This is great news for everyone at Barcelona."

Luis Enrique:  “I have returned home“
Barça B to Barça Atlètic
After winning promotion back to la Segunda B, the Barcleona B team will return to its previous name of Barça Atlètic. The last time that the side was called this was in 1991.

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