Luis Enrique is out as head coach of Spain. The move comes less than a month after he labeled himself as the best coach in the world. Royal Spanish Football Federation announced the decision following the team’s shock World Cup knockout loss to Morocco on Tuesday.
“The RFEF would like to thank Luis Enrique and his entire coaching staff,” stated Spain’s governing body of the sport.
“The sports management of the RFEF has transferred to the president a report in which it is determined that a new project should start for the Spanish team, with the aim of continuing with the growth achieved in recent years thanks to the work carried out by Luis Enrique and his collaborators.”
“Both the president, Luis Rubiales, and the sports director, Jose Francisco Molina, have transmitted the decision to the coach.”
Luis Enrique departs Spain after hot World Cup start
Spain started the 2022 World Cup with a dominating 7-0 victory against Costa Rica. However, the global powerhouse then drew to Germany and suffered a defeat to Japan in the last group stage game. Spain narrowly qualified for the knockout phase on goal difference.
The tipping point then came when they were then knocked out of the competition by Morocco. Spain could not break down the African defense and failed to score during the entire match. Morocco then won the game on penalties 3-0.
Although his contract was set to expire at the end of the year, Enrique has now departed the team early.
Penalties haven’t treated the coach well
Enrique had been in the role since 2018, which included a short departure from the team for personal reasons. The former Barcelona boss took Spain to the semifinals of the 2020 Euros, but lost on penalties to eventual champions Italy.
Former Spanish youth coach Luis de la Fuente has been named as Enrique successor. De la Fuente has previously coached Spain’s U19s, U21s, U23s since 2013.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Xinhua
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