This Wednesday they will face each other for the first time as coaches
Luis Enrique and Abelardo were born in Gijón (Asturias, north Spain) in 1970 in just a month of difference. Both started playing soccer in the same neighbor and afterwards they coincided in these teams: Xeitosa, Braña and Sporting Gijón, where they debuted together in the first team in 1989, aged 18. The picture above is when they were young and played for Xeitosa (published by Mundo Deportivo.)
Lucho and Pitu, their nicknames, started a friendship which lasts today and which lead them to succeed in Barça as players 8 seasons each. Their ways are currently different, but they are both coaches. This Wednesday (6.30 pm CET) they will face for the first time as coaches. Luis Enrique started his coaching career in Barça's La Masia to finally end up in the first team, with periods in Roma and Celta. Abeladro started leading Sporting B until he reached the first team. He managed to bring them to the First Division, in the season of his debut.
With a really limited budget, Abelardo is doing a great season and, for the moment, Sporting are not in the relegation zone. They have had a good streak of 4 consecutive wins, like the victory in Valencia's field or the 5-1 vs Real Sociedad. This Wednesday they will have the chance to compete against one of the best teams in history, a team that will arrive in Molinón with the streak of 30 consecutive wins of Luis Enrique. A duel of old friends who will be rivals for 90 minutes.