Luis Enrique Childhood Story Plus Untold Biography Facts

Luis Enrique Childhood Story Plus Untold Biography Facts

Our Luis Enrique Biography tells you Facts about his Childhood Story, Early Life, Parents –  Luis Martínez (Father), Nely García (Mother), Family Background, Wife (Elena Cullell), Children (Pacho, Sira and late Xana Martinez).

More so, we’ll unveil factual details of the managers’ Family Origin, Ethnicity, Lifestyle, Personal Life and Net Worth.

In a nutshell, this article breaks down the Life History of Luis Enrique. This is the story of a boy who grew up to become one of the most hated football players in Spanish club football.

On a lighter note, he is a man who has used this video to prove to his fans – that he is not afraid of Sérgio Ramos.

Lifebogger begins Luis Enrique’s story from the earliest of his days in Gijón, Spain. We then proceed to tell you how the Ex-Barca and Real Madrid star became successful, both as a player and a football manager.

To whet your autobiography appetite about the engaging nature of Luis Enrique’s Biography, our team has deemed it fit to portray to you his Early Life and Success Gallery. Behold, a perfect introduction to the Life of a great man.

Luis Enrique Biography - From his Early Life to Later days.
Luis Enrique Biography – From his Early Life to Later days.

Yes, everyone knows most Real Madrid fans hate him because he left them for their rivals. Not just that, this man conquered Spanish club football and then rose to become one of the most powerful figures in management.

Despite the many praises for his name, we realize that not many football fans have read an in-depth version of Luis Enrique’s Biography. Now, without wasting further of your time, let’s begin with the story of his Early Life.

Luis Enrique Childhood Story:

For Biography starters, he bears the nickname – Lucho. Luis Enrique Martínez García was born on the 8th day of May 1970, to his mother, Nely García, and father, Luis Martínez, in the city of Gijón, Spain.

The Spanish football manager is not the only child of his parents. Based on findings, Luis Enrique is one of the three children born of the marriage between his Dad (Luis Martínez) and Mum (Nely García).

Early Life and Growing Up:

The Spaniard spent the earliest of his childhood years taking part in a sport – NOT football but basketball.

In fact, one of the greatest antecedences of his childhood, which Luis Enrique still remembers, was when he jumped over his school fence to play basketball.

As a child, Luis did everything (technically) to have a smooth career start in basketball.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned. He finally opted for football because he did not have the height and physical build for basketball.

Luis Enrique Family Background:

The Spanish National team manager hails from a typical middle-class household. We refer to Luis Enrique’s parents – as seen below – are simple people.

Nely García (his Mum) and Luis Martínez (his Dad) are neither the rich nor poor type, but among middle-income earners.

Meet Luis Enrique's parents. So full of life in their old age. His Father name is Luis Martínez and his Mother's name is Nely García.
Meet Luis Enrique’s parents. So full of life in their old age. His Father name is Luis Martínez and his Mother’s name is Nely García.

Luis Enrique’s Dad and Mum raised him in a God-fearing way and in a Christian home. Back then, in the 70s, the family lived happily in one of those peripheral neighbourhoods of Gijón municipality, north-western Spain.

Luis Enrique Family Origin:

We trace the football manager’s ancestry to Asturias, a region of northwest Spain. This Spanish Autonomous community is famous for its rugged coastlines, mountains, religious sites and medieval architecture.

From an ethnic point of view, Luis Enrique’s family identifies themselves with the Spanish Asturleonese language. This language is spoken primarily in northwestern Spain – by the people in Gijón, where Enrique’s parents come from.

This map explains Luis Enrique's Family Origin. He is from Gijón, a coastal city in the north of Spain.
This map explains Luis Enrique’s Family Origin. He is from Gijón, a coastal city in the north of Spain.

Luis Enrique Education:

Early on, all he wanted was to attend a football school. Luis Enrique’s humble football beginnings began when he attended Elisburu school.

This educational institution is now referred to as Colegio Pumarin, and its address is Baleares, 8, 33208 Gijón, Asturias, Spain.

Luis Enrique, alongside his school best friend, Abelardo Fernández, played soccer together in the futsal team of the Elisburu school.

The boys, as pictured below, later moved on to join Xeitosa – another Futsal team. They excelled there and, again, moved to a much bigger academy.

This is Xeitosa futsal team in the late 70s. Luis Enrique (right circle)and Abelardo (left cycle) excelled there while playing futsal football.
This is Xeitosa futsal team in the late 70s. Luis Enrique (right circle)and Abelardo (left cycle) excelled there while playing futsal football.

Luis Enrique Football Story – Early Life in Sporting Gijon:

At the age of eleven, he, together with his best friend (Abelardo Fernández), enrolled at the Mareo football school. The football School owned by the Gijón city council is financed by Sporting Gijón.

When Luis Enrique was fourteen (1984), he left Mareo football school on loan to join La Braña Sports Club.

His best friend joined him there a year later, around 1985. Abelardo Fernández later left Enrique (for the first time) as he went back to Sporting Gijón in 1988.

Luis Enrique, unlike his best friend (Abelardo Fernández, graduated from the academy earlier.

Upon graduation, Luis was shipped back to his former club, where he joined their reserve team – Sporting Gijón B.

Senior Career Rise – Sporting Gijón

In the 1990-91 campaign, Luis Enrique (after scoring tons of goals) was permanently incorporated into the club’s senior squad.

In that team, the forward added another 14 goals to his name – under the command of Ciriaco Cano.

Luis Enrique helped Sporting Gijón to qualify for the UEFA Cup thanks to his superb goal against Valencia CF in the last game of the season. That goal inspired Real Madrid – who went on to sign him.

Now a question … Where is Abelardo Fernández, his best friend, at that time?

Also a fantastic player, Abelardo Fernández, continued playing with Sporting Gijón senior team before FC Barcelona went on to sign him in the year 1994.

For the first time in their careers, both best friends played in opposite teams and became bitter enemies.

Luis Enrique Real Madrid Story:

The Footballer operated as a right wing in his days at the Bernabeu. The biggest highlight of Luis Enrique’s Real Madrid career came in the 1994-95 season when he scored a goal in a 5-0 demolition against FC Barca. That win fetched Real Madrid their 26th La Liga title.

Following the win, Luis Enrique later stated that he rarely felt appreciated by Real Madrid fans. More so, he didn’t have good memories there.

Rather than renewing his contract, he (through a free transfer) transferred to their rivals – FC Barcelona.

Becoming the most hated man in Spanish Club Football:

In the summer of 1996, Luis Enrique signed for FC Barcelona – where he (once again) reconnected with an old best friend, Abelardo Fernández.

Did you know?… In his first year at the Catalan club, Enrique played under the orders of the English coach Bobby Robson and his assistant, Jose Mourinho. In later seasons, he played under Louis van Gaal as his coach.

Seeing an old enemy join them, Catalan supporters were at first hesitant about their new acquisition.

They later changed their minds after they saw Enrique put Real Madrid to the sword. He won the hearts of Barca fans by scoring several times in the El Clasicos.

At that time, Luis Enrique was the most hated footballer in Spanish club football.
At that time, Luis Enrique was the most hated footballer in Spanish club football.

Luis Enrique didn’t just go against his former employers, he passionately celebrated his goals – at the Santiago Bernabeu to the frustration of Real Madrid players and fans. One of such goal came through a 25-yard strike.


Luis Enrique stayed with FC Barcelona for eight years, eventually becoming team captain.  With them, he won two La Ligas, two Copa del Reys, one Supercopa de España, one UEFA cup and one UEFA super cup.

During his final years in Barcelona, a series of injuries plagued him. FC Barcelona offered Luis Enrique a contract – which he refused to renew. His first club, Sporting Gijón, also gave him a contract, which he refused. On his refusal, Enrique said;

 “I won’t be able to reach the level I demand of myself.

Again, I won’t be doing Sporting, who wants to sign me with my injury, any favour, by going there.”

Luis Enrique’s concerns about his injury issues and fitness made him retire on the 10th day of August 2004 at the age of 34.

Upon hanging up his boots, Brazil Legend Pele, named him among the top 125 living footballers in the world.

Luis Enrique Managerial Story:

Four years after retirement, Luis Enrique in 2008 returned to Barcelona, taking over the reins of the B team. As he succeeded his long-time Barca teammate, Pep Guardiola, Luis said:

“I have come back to my home, where I finished playing. now I will start coaching here.”

After three successful years, Luis Enrique went on to take a proper coaching job with Francesco Totti’s AS Roma.

Still having two years remaining on his contract, a homesick Luis Enrique decided to leave AS Roma to Celta de Vigo.

The Ex-Barca star led the Galicians to the ninth position in his first and only season. Enrique’s biggest Celta highlights include a 2–0 home win against Real Madrid. It ended Barcelona’s rivals’ (Real Madrid) hope of winning the league title.

On 16 May 2014, Enrique announced he would leave Celta to join FC Barcelona. He bought Luis Suarez and while there; equalled Guardiola’s record of 11 consecutive.

As luck would have it, he met Abelardo Fernández, who was Sporting Gijon’s – in his visit to Camp Nou.

Destiny in its full action - Behold, two best friends meeting again. This time, as opposing managers.
Destiny in its full action – Behold, two best friends meeting again. This time, as opposing managers.

Luis Enrique, before he left FC Barcelona in 2017, won the following titles. Two La Ligas, three Copa del Reys, one Champions League, one Supercopa de España, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

The accolades and trophies he won at FC Barcelona.
The accolades and trophies he won at FC Barcelona.

National Team Success Story:

Luis Enrique played for Spain in 1994, 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups. He also made a UEFA Euro 1996 appearance. In total, the winger scored 12 goals out of 62 caps before hanging up his international boots – in the year 2002.

A year after leaving FC Barcelona, Spain’s football federation (in 2018) named Luis Enrique as the coach of the Spanish national team.

The managers’ first match in charge was a 2–1 Wembley Stadium win against England in the UEFA Nations League.

At the time of writing Luis Enrique’s Biography, he had just celebrated the qualification of Spain for the FIFA World Cup of 2022 held in Qatar.

The manager has given Spain an Identity again, with hopes of a brighter future. The rest, as we say of his Bio, is history.

About Elena Cullell – Luis Enrique Wife:

The Spanish football manager is married to a woman whose family is part of the Catalan upper class. Elena Cullell’s mother (Isabel Falguera) and father (Francesc Cullell) are into the fur business.

Luis Enrique’s wife is a graduate. She studied at the French Lyceum of Bon Soleil, in Gavà, a municipality in the province of Barcelona, Spain.

Elena Cullell, upon graduation, went on to further her studies in the United States. She is today, a graduate in Economics.

Elena Cullell is someone who, despite her parents’ riches, remains very humble. According to research, the future wife of Luis Enrique worked as a stewardess before they met.

Elena met Luis at the time he signed for Barça. It was love at first sight for the new Barca boy.

Luis Enrique’s marriage to Elena Cullell:

Both lovers dated for a few years before deciding to tie the knot. Elena Cullell, and Luis Enrique got married on the 27th day of December 1997. The venue of their marriage is at Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.

Luis Enrique on his wedding day. He married his longtime Girlfriend, Elena Cullell.
Luis Enrique on his wedding day. He married his longtime Girlfriend, Elena Cullell.

Since their wedding, Luis Enrique and Elena Cullell have built a lovely family and lived happily for years. There have been no obvious marital issues, talks about separation or divorce between the manager and his wife.

Elena Cullell and Luis Enrique’s Children:

The lovers are proud parents of three children, namely; Pacho Martinez, Sira Martinez and late Xana Martinez.

For Elena and Luis, there was no better feeling than witnessing the birth of their first child in their family. A bouncing baby boy named Pacho Martinez.

Elena Cullell and Luis Enrique witnessed their first child's birth - a son (Pacho Martinez).
Elena Cullell and Luis Enrique witnessed their first child’s birth – a son (Pacho Martinez).

Together with his wife, they got blessed with three children. Luis Enrique’s son (Pacho) is the first child. Followed by a daughter (Sira) and the family last born (Xana). Unfortunately, the youngest child of Luis and Elena is no more. 

Luis Enrique Family moments with his wife and children.
Luis Enrique Family moments with his wife and children.

About Pacho Martinez – Luis Enrique’s Son:

First, he a great sports fan and, of course, someone who loves football. Pacho prides himself as the first child of his famous Dad (Luis Enrique) and Elena Cullell, his Mum.

Meet Pacho Martinez - Luis Enrique's Son. He is now grown up.
Meet Pacho Martinez – Luis Enrique’s Son. He is now grown up.

Pacho Martinez didn’t follow his Dad’s footsteps by becoming a professional footballer. He works as an auditor in Catalonia’s capital.

Back in the day, he used to enjoy soccer with his friends and Dad. Along the line, the boy gave up a very young football career he had started.

About Sira Martinez – Luis Enrique’s Daughter:

She is one year younger than Pacho, her older brother. Sira is the first daughter of Luis Enrique and Elena Cullell. According to research, she is a businesswoman and a renowned rider who enjoys horseback racing.

From a sporting perspective, Sira standouts as out as one of the most outstanding athletes on the Spanish and international equestrian circuits. She prides herself as the Champion of Spain’s young rider of 2020.

Meet Sira Martinez. The only surviving daughter of Luis Enrique and Elena Cullell.
Meet Sira Martinez. The only surviving daughter of Luis Enrique and Elena Cullell.

Sira Martinez’s passion for horses began at the age of five. Reaching the age of thirteen, her parents gifted her a small horse.

At first, she didn’t like and understand it. It took Sira some time to get used to her Pony. Today, she is proud of what it has made her become.

About Xana Martinez  – Luis Enrique Late Daughter:

Sadly, she is no longer with the family. Xana Martinez, the baby Jewel of Elena Cullell and Luis Enrique, is late. The baby of the family died of bone cancer at the age of nine – reports.

A sad report had it that Xana fought osteosarcoma (bone cancer) for five intense months before her untimely death on the 29th day of August 2019.

One of the worst moments of Luis Enrique's Life is witnessing little Xana die of bone cancer. Both father and daughter were really close (best friends) before her death.
One of the worst moments of Luis Enrique’s Life is witnessing little Xana die of bone cancer. Both father and daughter were really close (best friends) before her death.

Xana Martinez, before her death, battled osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer in which a tumour causes the body’s bones to immature.

Before her death, Xana was the youngest of three children born to the football manager and his wife, Elena Cullell.

Personal Life:

The Soccer Coach has always remained very discreet and, sometimes, camera shy. Away from football, Luis Enrique’s hobbies include; cycling, swimming and triathlon.

Did you know?… Enrique has successfully climbed The Mortirolo Pass. This is a high mountain in the Alps in Italy. He has also claimed Col du Tourmalet (a French mountain) and the Marmolada (another Italian mountain).

The manager also prides himself as an Athlete. Go cycling, swimming, and triathlon is the escape from football.
The manager also prides himself as an Athlete. Go cycling, swimming, and triathlon is the escape from football.

Luis Enrique loves athletic competition in extremely tough events like the Ironman in Klagenfurt (Austria). In that test, Luis Enrique swam a distance of 3,800 meters, cycled 180 kilometres, and finally did a 42,195-kilometer marathon.

After retiring from football, Luis Enrique’s family moved from Spain to Australia. While there, he learnt to surf and even took part in some competitions.

The inspired Athlete also loves marathons as he participated in New York City, Amsterdam and many other Marathons.

Luis Enrique Lifestyle:

The Spaniard lives a comfortable life – with most of his assets situated in his Beloved Barcelona city, precisely in Gavà. This Biography discusses Luis Enrique’s Lifestyle by telling you facts about his mansion and cars.

A Google Earth View showing where Luis Enrique's house is situated.
A Google Earth View showing where Luis Enrique’s house is situated.

Luis Enrique’s house is in Gavà, a Municipality in the Baix Llobregat comarca in the province of Barcelona in Catalonia. In that place, his family lives in a wonderful 800-square-meter house.

The house is on a 2,400-square-foot plot of land – with a paddle court and a swimming pool. The best attraction of this property is the beautiful Mediterranean view it has.

What car does Luis Enrique Drive?

The football manager has a 60 square meter garage where he keeps his automobiles. Luis Enrique’s SEAT Leon appears to be one of his favourites among his fleet of cars (an Audi, a Van and a Mini). It has a customized plate number – with his name on it.

The manager loves his SEAT Leon. It's one of his favourite car brands.
The manager loves his SEAT Leon. It’s one of his favourite car brands.

Luis Enrique Family Life:

For the Spaniard, members of both his household remain the most valued in his life, and everything else comes second. This section of Luis Enrique’s Biography tells you more about his immediate family and relatives. Now let’s begin.

About Luis Enrique Father:

His name is Luis Martínez, and we know him as a man who hardly moves his family residence. Luis Enrique’s Dad has spent his entire life living in a particular geographic area that borders Gijón’s Asturian port city and Soirana.

About Luis Enrique Mother:

She bears the name Nely García. Enrique’s Mum celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary to her husband (Luis Martínez) in 2014. During the 2014 anniversary celebration, Luis Enrique and his two siblings said they are proud of everything their Mum had taught them.

Luis Enrique’s Grandparents:

Not many people are opportune to meet the persons who gave birth to their Mum and Dad. Our very own Luis Enrique is lucky to have his grandparents live so long to witness his success.

Both Luis Enrique’s grandparents live in the village of Navia, Soirana, because of their love for the popular Cantabrian river, among other things.

Meet Luis Enrique's Grandparents. Both are extremely proud of what their grandson has achieved in football.
Meet Luis Enrique’s Grandparents. Both are extremely proud of what their grandson has achieved in football.

Luis Enrique Relatives:

The most popular among them are Francesc Cullell and Isabel Falguera. They are Luis Enrique’s mother and father-in-law. The parents of Luis Enrique’s wife (Elena Cullell) are both retired furries. They live in Gava, a Spanish municipality very close to Barcelona.

Luis Enrique Untold Facts:

Rounding up this Biography of Spain’s manager, we’ll use this section to unveil more truths about them. Without further ado, let’s begin.

Luis Enrique’s Businesses:

The former Barca footballer is a classic and bold investor. He used his finances from football to own sports companies, real estate, and renewable energy. Luis Enrique, alongside his daughter, Sira, are owners of the company Ristar Horses SL.

Patrimonial Lupasi SL, another of his investment, was created in 1994 – during his time at Real Madrid. This is a real estate company that is currently managed by Luis Enrique’s wife – Elena Cullell. Patrimonial Lupasi SL is his family’s primary source of income.

In addition, Elena Cullell and her darling husband in February 2018 became the owners of Inversiones Siargao. This company carries out investments in various Spanish sectors. Another is Gesternova SA, a renewable energy company founded in 2005.

Why does Luis Enrique Wear Sunglasses?

It’s because he has an eyesight problem. Luis Enrique doesn’t wear shaded eyeglasses for normal reasons – to keep dirt and dust, and sunlight from getting into his eyes. Rather, he wears it for medical reasons – as he suffers from Eye web – also called Pterygium.

Why does Luis Enrique Wear Sunglasses? - EXPLAINED.
Why does Luis Enrique Wear Sunglasses? – EXPLAINED.

In case you didn’t know, Eye Web or Pterygium is a growth of fleshy tissue that covers the white side of the eye. People often refer to it as “The Surfers’ Eye”. This is because Pterygium is more common to Surfers and people who spend a lot of time out of doors.

Managerial Salary Breakdown:

TENURE/EARNINGSLuis Enrique Spain's Salary Breakdown - in Euros (€).
Per Year:€1,500,000
Per Month:€125,000
Per Week:€28,801
Per Day:€4,115
Every Hour:€171
Every Minute:€2.8
Every Second:€0.05

Since you began viewing Luis Enrique’s Bio, this is what he has earned with Spain.


Where Luis Enrique’s Family comes from, the average Spanish citizen who makes €27,000 per year would need 55 years to make his yearly salary with the Spanish national team.

The Tassotti Story – Enrique loves Football Revenge:

In the 1994 World Cup 1–2 Spanish quarter-final defeat against Italy, his opponent, Mauro Tassotti, gave a hard elbow to Enrique’s face – one that had a bloody effect.

To the shock of Spanish fans, the incident went unpunished – but Tassotti was banned for eight games afterwards. The trust is, Luis Enrique never forgave and forgot.

Twelve years later, Spain (in a battle for a place in the semi-finals) met Italy at Euro 2008. Before the match, Luis Enrique reportedly called for the team to “take revenge” for the 1994 World Cup incident.

Tassotti, who (at that time) was an assistant coach with A.C. Milan, told the media about how he always gets frustrated always being reminded of this incident. More so, he had never intended to hurt Luis Enrique in the 1994 World Cup.

Luis Enrique’s Religion:

The Spanish football manager was born and raised as a Christian. This is also the religion his wife, Elena Cullell, practices. According to findings, members of Luis Enrique’s family attend the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.

Wiki Summary:

This table breaks down Luis Enrique’s Biography. 

Full Name:Luis Enrique Martínez García
Date of Birth:8th day of May, 1970
Parents:Luis Martínez (Father) and Nely García (Mother)
Family Origin:Gijón, Spain
Wife:Elena Cullell
Children:Pacho Martinez (Son), Sira Martinez (Daughter) and Late Xana Martinez (Daughter)
Relatives:Isabel Falguera (Father in-law) and his Francesc Cullell (Mother in-law)
Education:Elisburu school, Gijón, Asturias, Spain
Height:1.80 meters OR 5 feet 11 inches
Salary:1,500,000 Euros per year
Net Worth:14 million euros (2021 stats)
Clubs he played for:Sporting Gijón, Real Madrid and Barcelona
Career Playing position:Midfielder and Forward


The Biography of Luis Enrique is a story about Friendship and Football Glory. The journey to success for the Spanish Football Manager began in his family hometown of Gijón, Spain. It started with Abelardo Fernández – a childhood best friend who is like a brother to Luis.

Both boys of similar family origin and born in the same year (1970) began their football journey together. Hard work got them through Sporting Gijón academy. They first became enemies, then later teammates at Barca. And then, opponents as Spanish La Liga coaches.

Luis Enrique’s wife, Elena Cullell, remains the pillar of his support – as both a manager and a man. Lucho married her in 1997, and there has been no rumour of separation or divorce. Together, their union is blessed with children – Pacho, Sira and the late Xana Martinez.

A fearless winner sums up the person of Luis Enrique. Joining Real Madrid’s fiercest rivals FC Barca and scoring goals in the El Clasico against Los Blancos remains one of the biggest controversies in his life as a footballer. He gave Barcelona his words and achieved them.

Thanks for taking out time to get familiarized with our Biography of Luis Enrique. We care about the accuracy and fairness of writing – in our constant quest to deliver the Life stories of Football Managers.

Please feel free to contact us if you notice anything that doesn’t look right in this memoir about Luis Enrique. We would also appreciate your feedback about the manager – in the comment section. On a final note, please stay tuned for more Stories from us.

Hi there! I am Hale Hendrix, a passionate football enthusiast and writer dedicated to uncovering the untold stories of footballers' childhood and biography. With a deep love for the beautiful game, I have spent countless hours researching and interviewing players to bring to light the lesser-known details of their lives.


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