With his contract coming to a close, Luis Enrique has announced his retirement from Barcelona – a revelation that jolted fans, but apparently not the club.
Enrique had alerted the sporting director of the club that he might not sign the new contract before the season even commenced. Meetings and discussions were stalled in the hope that he would reconsider his decision. As of 30th June 2017, he wouldn’t be associated with Barcelona anymore and the club is already looking for suitable candidates to replace Luis.
Barcelona registered a spectacular victory against Sporting Gijon (6-1). By winning this game, Barcelona reserved the top spot in the Spanish League. Lionel Messi scored the opening goal while Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr also netted one each. Other scorer being Paco Alcacer and Ivan Rakitic; the bonus goal was scored by Juan Rodriguez (own goal).
After such an eventful match, Luis chose to address the crowd with his retirement. He has lauded Barcelona with successive titles in the Spanish league and Copa del Rey and guided his team to achieve 8 of the 10 trophies in his 3 year reign, including UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup. He hasn’t followed the elegant coaching regime laid down by Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola. During his tenure, he shared a rocky relationship with Barcelona’s playmaker, Lionel Messi but he has been a mentor to the players. He created the terrific trio- Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
Enrique says he needs rest from this ever so demanding job of being the coach of one of the most successful football teams in the world. Barcelona now has three months to look for a suitable fit to fill the void designed by Enrique. Reviewing the game Luis has conjured, he is a tough cookie to replace. Their list of prospects contain Ernesto Valverde, the experienced coach of Athletic Bilbao and Jorge Sampaoli, the current coach of Sevilla. Both these coaches have previously represented Barcelona just like Luis Enrique. They are also responsible for the amazing forms of the teams they are currently associated to. They are both potential successors for the most gruelling – high profile job in soccer.