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Monday, January 30, 2023

Spain sacks Luis Enrique –

Spain has parted company with manager Luis Enrique after they exited the World Cup on Tuesday following a shock penalty shootout defeat to Morocco in Qatar.

The 2010 champions failed to convert any of their spot-kicks after a goalless 120 minutes of action.

The surprise result was preceded by a rollercoaster group stage campaign which saw a 7-0 victory over Costa Rica, a 1-1 draw with Germany and a 2-1 defeat to Japan to leave them runners-up in Group E.

A statement from the Royal Football Federation (RFEF) read: “The RFEF would like to thank Luis Enrique and his entire coaching staff at the helm of the national team in recent years.

“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 soccer team.

“The aim is to continue 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.

“The RFEF energetically wishes Luis Enrique and his team the best of luck in their future professional projects.

“The coach earns the love and admiration of his collaborators in the national team and of the entire federation, which will always be his home.”

Luis Enrique, 52, first took charge of his country in July 2018 but stepped down the following July due to personal reasons.

He returned to the helm in November 2019 and oversaw Spain’s run to the Euro 2020 semi-finals, where they also succumbed to a penalty shootout loss, to eventual champions Italy.

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder won 62 caps for his nation between 1991 and 2002.

After spells in the Roma and Celta Vigo dugout, he returned to the Camp Nou in May 2014 going on to win nine trophies, including a treble in his first campaign in Catalonia.

Local reports claim Spain is likely to select Under-21s coach Luis de la Fuente as Luis Enrique’s successor.

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