Pretty often in life you come across people who are so skilled or effective at what they do that you just feel the need to congratulate them. The following is not about the person who got the praise he deserves. It’s about that remarkable person you believed would make it far. It’s about that person who you voluntarily started clapping for even if you found yourself the only person doing so in the room.
This is about a super talented guitarist.
Back in college I would often require some ‘me time’ much like anyone. This would involve me going to the pub downstairs and having a few drinks while chatting with a bartender I go to know. There would always be this man with a guitar on his back at the end of the pub. He’d often sit on his stool and start playing and singing. My night would get a lot more entertaining from that point on.
After listening to that guy sing for several nights, I simply had to ask a very important question. So, I turned to the bartender and said: “Listen, why isn’t that guy famous already?”
I simply believed that he was good enough to start getting truly famous. Interestingly enough, the bartender wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was. He wasn’t sure the guitarist was ‘fame material’ (whatever that is). For the next period I always dropped by that pub and kept on wondering. I kept asking myself the same questions every time I heard him play.
He is so good! Why isn’t he famous yet? Why does recognition handpick people like that? Is it just luck? Or are some people just never really meant to get the recognition they deserve?
Luis Enrique arrived with so many doubts surrounding him. Will he ever be good enough? Will he apply the philosophy? Will youth get a chance? Will he bring success again?
Enrique tends to be incompatible with the world of sports and football in specific in 2016. With the sport shifting more and more towards the universe of media & exposure and the rise of hipsters and their need for the more interesting narrative, Luis Enrique is not exactly where he belongs. You can say that he is the right man at the wrong time.
If you would take note of the more ‘talked about’ managers in the world you would notice that the names haven’t really changed in years. These super efficient men have gained their fame by creating very powerful football teams or simply used a specific style of play that was later associated with them.
However, this wasn’t the only way they gained fame. Their character played a huge role.
Jose Mourinho is well known for his ego and occasional controversial quotes. Klopp has the evil scientist look on his face and he is a pretty witty man when it comes to dealing with the press.
Klopp shares the touchline madness attribute with coaches like Conte and Simeone.
Pep has his own share of quotes and, of course, controversial decisions.
These coaches, along with many others, know how to light a fire and therefore grab people’s attention.
Some managers aren’t even half as good as Luis Enrique at the job yet they tend to be more famous and the examples are all around Europe’s top teams.
Enrique being underrated is not exactly a conspiracy because even his own club’s supporters played a part in it.
While waving goodbye to Pep Guardiola, Barcelona fans wished their new genius would arrive as soon as possible. They wished that someone with so much edge, flair, and uniqueness would lead the club next.
To their disappointment, some man on a bicycle showed up.
He is a pretty simple man. He was never really about the fancy lifestyle nor about the glamour. He was named coach of the year at some point and wasn’t even around to pick his award up.
Luis Enrique then said his award is a result of the hard work of the coaching staff, the team, and the club in general.
This is literally as exciting as Luis Enrique’s award talk got. The man simply didn’t care and he probably never will. This seems rather unpleasant for many fans in the world. Where are the controversial quotes? Where is the ‘I’m the boss’ attitude? Where are the suicidal tactics? Where is the flair? Where is the Gillette commercial? Where is the historical catchphrase? Where is the iconic nickname? These are a hipster’s drug and Luis Enrique is simply not a supplier.
Another reason for the lack of recognition is people consciously forcing it. Seeing Barcelona ruling the world again with a coach other than Pep Guardiola only a few years later does not really go well with some. With this frustration comes the need to disregard Luis Enrique’s work and in people’s minds runs one question: “No, this is impossible, how can you be so good again so quick?”
They cannot really handle the fact that Luis Enrique helped Barcelona back up again and his first campaign was one of the club’s most historic ones. So, what they do is that they go to the nearest Barcelona fan and try to desperately prove that Luis Enrique had no hand in his own treble winning team. Of course, there are Barcelona fans who ignore these statements and move on, and there are those who always wanted to believe that Luis Enrique did absolutely nothing.
“It was the coaching staff”, “It was the players”, “It was Messi”, “anyone can do it with a squad like this” and the arguments keep coming. But the funny thing is, Luis Enrique never disagreed. It was in fact the coaching staff. It was in fact the players. It was in fact Messi. This is what Luis Enrique has always been saying. The modesty and simplicity of Luis Enrique does not go well with most to the extent that they feel that their super intelligent tactical/structural argument backfired and in reality it has only made Luis Enrique look better. Therefore, the frustration continues.
It has become difficult to accept a simple man. After all, nothing is intriguing about one. He does not excite you. He does not give you that ‘something special’. He is not edgy. He is just a boring man who goes to work every morning hoping he does well.
Luis Enrique brings football back to basics. This does not go well with people who pause a football match in order to draw triangles and parallel lines. He cherishes athleticism and simply believes that giving up is not an option. With belief in simple and also underrated players like Rakitic, Luis Enrique will never be appealing. He’ll never be in the spotlight. He’ll never be interesting enough to create a coach rivalry. And frankly, he is probably just too mature for all of this to begin with.
That guy woke up every morning and kept trying to improve. He waited for the night to come so that he could grab his guitar and start doing what he loves. He noticed that not many people were appreciating his work but he kept on playing anyway. He did what he believed was the right thing to do. If fame and recognition were to come, that would be great. If not, well, he’ll keep on playing regardless.