Luis Enrique, widely tipped to be the next manager of Premier League football giants Chelsea, also just happens to be an endurance sports nut and and Ironman triathlete.
The former Barcelona and Spain coach, known for his incredible stamina during an illustrious career that included stops at Barca and their great rivals Real Madrid, completed a full-distance race at IRONMAN Frankfurt back in 2007. His time in the process was a very very respectable 10:19:30.
More recently, the 52-year-old finished the Cape Epic in South Africa. The eight-day mountain bike stage race, which covers more than 400 miles, is just one of many endurance feats the Champions League winning manager has tackled.
As well as big-city marathons in New York, Amsterdam and Florence, the well-known adrenaline junkie garnered a reputation for pushing his body to its limits on the football field, and since retirement, out on the race course.
IRONMAN Frankfurt and other challenges
After retiring from professional football in 2004, Enrique turned his hand to a slew of adrenaline and endurance sports that once started, the Spaniard couldn’t stop coming back to.
Following marathons in New York, Amsterdam and Florence (in the latter he broke the three-hour mark with an impressive 2:57:58 in 2007), Enrique entered and completed what is widely regarded as one of the toughest distance races in the world – the Marathon des Sables.
Enrique didn’t enter the ordeal in Morocco completely green, however, as he had tested himself the previous year with an endurance challenge of a different nature. That very respective showing as an age grouper at IRONMAN Frankfurt.
Since then, the Spaniard has had to juggle his forays into the endurance world with his time as manager of some of the biggest teams in the world, such as Barcelona, where he won the Champions League in 2015, and Spain, who he managed twice, including most recently at the 2022 World Cup.
In 2019, Enrique tragically lost his nine-year-old daughter Xana to bone cancer, in an event that led to him stepping down from his job as the Spanish national side and taking a six-month hiatus from coaching.
After resuming the position at the end of the year, Enrique led Spain to the Nations League final and the World Cup quarter finals, where throughout the tournament he entertained fans with his open nature on the streaming platform Twitch, but resigned after his side were dumped out by Morocco.
Since then, Enrique has seemingly been enjoying his time away from managing with adventure races such as the Cape Epic. Now, however, he is widely believed to be the frontrunner for the vacant managerial position at Chelsea, where his stamina would once again be required as he looks to take the Blues back to former glories.