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Julian De Martinis On June - 8 - 2011

Breaking News: Luis Enrique is Roma’s New Coach

It’s finally official. After weeks and weeks of waiting and speculation, Luis Enrique has signed a contract to take over the position of coach of AS Roma from the outgoing Vincenzo Montella. It’s a two year deal with an option for a third, worth approximately 1.6 million Euros a season.

The signature was about the only thing that was missing from the agreement. Enrique had been very vocal in recent days, claiming that he would become Roma’s new coach and that he looked forward to a winning project. Pep Guardiola himself recommended the team to his successor at the Barcelona B-level.

Luis Enrique is more famous as a player than as a coach, both due to his illustrious career with Real Madrid and Barcelona and the fact that, at the age of 41, he only began to coach in 2008. As a versatile midfielder, Enriqe was reknown as a player for having played in nearly every position with the exceptions of central defender and goalkeeper. He won the League, Cup, and SuperCup in Spain multiple times with both Real and Barca, and also won the 1992 Olympics with Spain.

His limited coaching career has only seen him manage the Barcelona B-squad, taking over for Guardiola once the man replaced Frank Rijkaard on the senior side. He was quite successful: in his second season with the side, they returned to the second division of Spanish football after an eleven year absence, and he then led his side to top flight promotion playoffs this season (Although the B side are ineligible for promotion since Barca themselves play in the top flight).

Enrique seems to be ecstatic for his new role, though he has yet much to prove. His Barcelona side were known for playing attractive football and a 4-3-3 formation, much like the senior side. Rumors have already begun to circulate that he hopes to take some of his former players with him to Roma, including Bojan Kirkic and Jeffren. Whether or not the moves materialize remains to be seen.

What is known for certain is this: Enrique now takes over a squad that is in need of a major overhaul, and the responsibility largely rests on his shoulders. Along with the already mightily busy Walter Sabatini, the two men must refresh this Roma side and finally overcome the losing mentality that has been so hard to break. At the very least, Thomas Di Benedetto has chosen a man who is young, ambitious, and certainly welcoming the challenge.

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Julian De Martinis

Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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