“In each changing room there is a minimum asshole” or “in Catalonia, the people and the city are very advanced to what Spain is” are phrases that perfectly represent Luis Enrique Martínez (Gijón, 1970), a man who has no hold back when you want to express yourself. A fan of soccer, surfing and cycling, the Asturian leads a discreet life and away from the spotlight despite being the coach of the Spanish men’s soccer team.

On December 27, the coach will celebrate his silver wedding anniversary with Elena Cullell, an economist from the Catalan gentry. After marrying Cullell, they had three children: Pacho, 23 years old; Sira (22), current partner of Ferran Torres -international player for Futbol Club Barcelona-; and Xana, who died in 2019 at the age of nine due to bone cancer.

“We will miss you, but we will remember you every day of our lives with the hope that one day we will meet again. You will be the star that guides our family”, concluded the emotional text signed by the Martínez Cullell family dedicated to their little girl. The loss of Xana marked a before and after in the life of Luis Enrqiue, who left the position of coach immediately when she was diagnosed with the disease.

Even so, it didn’t take long for him to return to his previous position: “I wanted to get my life back and do what I love the most, relate to football, and show my family that life goes on.” In his wife, Elena, and his two children, Pacho and Sira, he found the greatest refuge to recover from the death of the youngest.

At the age of 53, the former player for Barça and Madrid, among other teams, takes advantage of his free time to surf and ride a bike. “It helps me feel young,” he declared in an interview. He usually practices sports with his coaching staff, just as he did with Juan Carlos Unzué, diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2020.

He also enjoys watching his daughter Sira, who is an expert horsewoman. The young woman, who is the Spanish jumping champion in the young riders category, competed in the International Jumping Competition at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. Sira started Business Administration and Management remotely at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The eldest, Pacho, has inherited his father’s passion for soccer and paddle-surfing.

Regarding the business field, in 1994, when he was living his best stage as a player, he founded the company Patrimonial Lupasi S.L., in order to make his image profitable. Another company to which both the coach and his wife are linked is Xago Investigaciones y Proyectos Inmobiliarios S.A. Elena Cullel even came to appear as sole administrator between 2006 and 2012. However, in 2017 the company entered bankruptcy proceedings voluntarily to close the company.

The Asturian has lived on his farm in Gavà for decades, except when he has commitments with the red. The house has more than 800 square meters on land with a swimming pool and paddle tennis court. It also has beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Also at first sight of the sea, last July they established -he and his family- his second residence in Formentera. The Balearic Islands are usually the favorite destination for ‘Lucho’ to disconnect in summer.