Seven first team players were coached by Luis Enrique, during his time in charge of Barça B
Pedro and Montoya were the most decisive players in his first season in charge of the reserves
Before becoming Barça first team coach, Luis Enrique had previously managed Barca B, a team that included seven players who will now be working with him at the top level. The seven players are Deulofeu, Rafinha, Masip, Pedro, Sergi Roberto, Marc Bartra and Martin Montoya. Let’s take a look at their time under Luis Enrique’s guidance.
Gerard Deulofeu: Luis Enrique loved the character, the power, and the speed of Deulofeu. In the 2010/11 season he played between U18 A and Barça B. At just 16 years old, on March 2nd, 2011 Deulofeu made his debut for Luis Enrique at Barca B, against Córdoba, and the following season his signing for the reserves became permanent.
Rafinha Alcántara: Rafinha is one of the most important players who have come under the orders of Luis Enrique. Just like Deulofeu he was also making the leap from the U18s to Barca B. He made his debut for Barça B in a match against Girona at the MiniEstadi. Thereafter, he became a regular in the reserves, and the following year became a permanent member of Barça B. During his loan period at Celta Vigo, he was also coached by Luis Enrique, and Rafinha was one of four players with more minutes on the pitch, playing in 32 games and scoring 4 goals.
Jordi Masip: One of the new first team goalkeepers, Jordi Masip, was reserve goalkeeper under ‘Lucho’. He made his debut for Barça B on December 19th, 2009, in a match against Valencia Mestalla (1-1). Thereafter he played for five full seasons for Barca B, at the start under coach Luis Enrique and later with Eusebio as coach.
Pedro Rodriguez: Pedro coincided with Luis Enrique in his first season at Barca B (2008-2009). He was playing matches between the first team (14 games) and Barca B, being one of the most important players for Luis Enrique, playing in 27 games.
Sergi Roberto: Another of the homegrown players who Luis Enrique has always confided in is Sergi Roberto. He made his debut in for Barça B in the 2009/10 season, quickly becoming a fixture in Luis Enrique’s team, playing a total of 29 games in his first season.
Marc Bartra: Bartra joined Luis Enrique’s Barça B team in the 2009/10 season after sharing matches between the reserves and the U18’s A team. Precisely in the same season, on February 14th, 2010, Pep Guardiola gave him his debut with the FC Barcelona first team against Atletico Madrid in a league match. He was with Luis Enrique for two years in the reserves.
Martín Montoya: Finally, Montoya was one of the first players in the first team who Luis Enrique had coached in Barca B. In 2008/09 he was playing in the U18’s A team, alternating with the reserves under Luis Enrique. The following year (2010/11), Montoya made a permanent move to Barça B, where he played a total of 51 games. That same year, he made his debut in La Liga with the FC Barcelona first team under Josep Guardiola, on 26th of February at the Iberostar Stadium, against RCD Mallorca
The midfielder on loan from Espanyol in 1903 died in combat a few years later in the First World War, whilst fighting for the French army
Memory of his Barça past
René Fenouillère is well remembered in France, and as a tribute, the US Avranches stadium bears his name and remembers his Barça past. At the entrance to the stadium there is a plaque that includes the fact that René had played for FC Barcelona.
René Victor Fenouillère was the first French player to wear the FC Barcelona shirt, and he did it at the beginning of the twentieth century. He was born in Portbail (Lower Normandy) on 22nd of October 1882, and after playing for US Avranches, he spent some time in England, where he devoted himself exclusively to the sport of rugby.
However, he hadn’t forgotten how to play football, and in the 1902/03 season he played for RCD Espanyol, where he was recognised as a top class footballer in midfield. So much so that on 8 March 1903, in the magazine ‘Los Deportes’ he was described as “a player with proven superiority over the rest” at the same level as Joan Gamper.
That same day, René, which was his football name, played against Barça in Horta, in the Barcelona Cup, which ended in a 2-2 draw and the rivalry between the teams caused disturbances in the stands and on the pitch.
Three matches with Barça
Interestingly, just two days later Fenouillère played his first game with Barça, on loan from Espanyol, against a team made up from the of crew of the Galliope, an English ship anchored in the Barcelona port. Barça won the match 1-0, and it was not the only experience of René for Barça in 1903, as he played again on May 28th away at Salut (3-2) and on the 27th of July when Barcelona defeated Mataroni away 8-2, with a René goal. It was a strange game where Mataroní only had seven players, and Barcelona lined up with eight
Death in the First World War
After his time at Barça, Rene Fenouillère played for the Parisian clubs Racing Club and Red Star, and played with the French national team in 1908 at the Olympic Games in London. During World War I he fought with the French army and was killed at the front, north of Reims on 4thof November 1916.