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Latino Daily News

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Luis Enrique, Former Barca Player is New Head Coach of Team

Luis Enrique, who scored 109 goals for FC Barcelona as a player, is returning to the organization as head coach, the club said Monday.

The announcement that the outgoing coach of Celta Vigo would succeed Gerardo “Tata” Martino coincided with the re-signing of Barça’s franchise player, striker Lionel Messi.

Enrique, 44, made 300 appearances for Barcelona in 1996-2004 and was team captain during several seasons.

After a successful 2008-2011 run as coach of Barcelona’s B team, he became head coach of Italian first-division side A.S. Roma, where he remained for one season.

Luis Enrique guided Celta Vigo to ninth-place in La Liga before stepping down last Friday.

Martino announced his resignation as Barcelona coach on Saturday, hours after Atletico Madrid battled back to tie the Catalan club 1-1 and claim their first La Liga crown in 18 years.

Perennial powerhouse Barça ended the 2013-2014 season with no major titles.

Earlier Monday, Messi signed an updated contract making him the world’s highest-paid player, with a net annual salary of around 20 million euros ($27.4 million) a year.

The pact keeps the 26-year-old Argentine international in Barcelona through 2018.

The four-time world player of the year, who joined Barcelona’s youth academy in 2000, has competed in more matches for the Blaugrana (424) than any other foreign player and is the club’s all-time leading scorer with 354 goals.

Since his debut with Barça’s first team in the 2004-2005 season, the club has won 21 titles.

Monday also marked FC Barcelona’s first acquisition of the Luis Enrique era: German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Ter Stegen, 22, comes to Barça from Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach and is expected to become the No. 1 keeper for the Catalan club, as veteran starter Victor Valdes is leaving.

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