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20 years ago, Luis Enrique humiliated Pep Guardiola and Barcelona

The now-managers will clash in the Champions League semi-finals but have plenty of history as players too.

Image: Paul Marriott/EMPICS Sport

BEFORE HE WENT on to spend eight seasons with Barcelona, current coach Luis Enrique was at Real Madrid for five years.

Two decades ago, he won his only La Liga title with the club. It was a memorable success and their first since 1990. Forced to watch Barca rack-up four straight championships ensured there was plenty of pent-up frustration and on one night at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid let off some steam and schooled their arch-rivals on their way to the title.

There was a simmering subplot though.

Twelve months beforehand, an unrepentant Barca thumped five past Madrid at the Camp Nou with Romario scoring a hat-trick. At the time, Danish midfielder Michael Laudrup was on the fringes of Johan Cruyff’s team due to the 3-foreigner rule in Spanish football. After he was left out of the 1994 Champions League final squad, Laudrup left and joined Madrid.

Source: ieraHDTV/YouTube

And the following January, Laudrup held a baton in his hand, deftly waved it in the air and conducted his new side to power past his former team-mates. He was involved in three of the goals with Chilean striker Ivan Zamorano claiming three.

Jose Amavisca scored another while 24 year-old midfielder Luis Enrique grabbed another.

Source: HDWrestlingFinishers/YouTube

Real played a midfield diamond with Luis Milla at the base and Laudrup at the tip with Enrique and Amavisca in the centre. They easily dominated Barca’s combination of Amor, Bakero, Eskurza and Pep Guardiola.

The latter enjoyed a difficult evening and was replaced at half-time with Nadal coming in to try and stem the bleeding.

The change had little effect and Madrid won at a canter.

European Soccer - European Cup Winners Cup (ECWC) final - Barcelona v PSG Paris St Germain Before his success with Barcelona, Luis Enrique (seen here with Ronaldo during the 1997 Cup Winners' Cup final against Paris St-Germain) was a key part of the Real Madrid team. Source: Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport

Barcelona finished fourth in the league and Cruyff would be gone by the end of the following season. So too would Enrique. When his contract ended, he moved to Barca on a free transfer, became team-mates with his old enemy Guardiola and claimed back-to-back title in 1998 and 1999 under Louis van Gaal.

For what it’s worth, here are the teams that faced each other in January 1995. Some magnificent players on show and worth pointing out the presence of Raul, who made his debut for Real earlier in the season.

Real Madrid: Buyo; Quique, Hierro, Sanchis, Lasa; Luis Enrique, Milla, Laudrup, Amavisca; Raul (Martin Vasquez 64’), Zamorano (Alfonso 78’)

Manager: Jorge Valdano

Barcelona: Busquets; Ferrer, Abelardo, Guardiola (Nadal 46’), Koeman, Sergi; Stiochkov, Baquero (Romario 46’), Amor; Hagi, Escurza

Manager: Johan Cruyff

Messi and Pep reunited as Barca and Bayern meet in the Champions League semi-finals

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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