Luis Enrique replaces Spain coach after being eliminated from the World Cup

Luis Enrique was replaced by Luis de la Fuente Spaincoach on Thursday, two days after the national team was eliminated in the round of 16 at World Cup.

Spain lost Maroc 3-0 in one penalty shootout after a goalless draw in regular time and extra time.

The Spanish football federation thanked Luis Enrique, but said it was time to “start a new project” to maintain the growth the coach has achieved in recent years. It said the change was made after a recommendation by its sports officials.

Luis Enrique said he was grateful to his players while he was in charge, as well as federation president Luis Rubiales.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help more”, the coach is leaving said in a statement posted on Twitter and Instagram. “It’s so special to be a part of this.”

He also thanked the fans and urged them to support the new coach.

“What the national team needs is support, in its own right, so that Luis de la Fuente can achieve his goals.”

De la Fuente, 61, a former left-back for Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, helped Spain’s under-19s win the 2015 European Championship and the under-21s win Euro 2019. also coached Spain, which won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

De la Fuente coached the senior national team once, when young players were used in a friendly against Lithuania because the main team had to be quarantined because of the coronavirus.

Other candidates were considered besides De la Fuente, the Spain Under-21 team coach, including the former Belgium coach Roberto Martínez and former Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino García Toral.

Spain got off to a good start in Qatar Costa Rica 7-0, but La Roja could not win in the last 3 matches. It drew 1-1 with Germany and lost 2-1 first Japan before being held to a draw by Morocco.

Luis Enrique took over the national team in 2018 to begin a squad overhaul after being eliminated in the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia. He temporarily left due to illness and eventually the death of his young daughter, but returned in 2019.

He has helped Spain reach the last four of the Nations League twice, including this season and last year, when they lost the final to France.

He also led Spain to the semi-finals of the European Championship last year, losing to Italy on penalties.

Luis Enrique’s contract ended after the World Cup. The former Barcelona player and coach said shortly after the loss to Morocco that he would take some time off before starting negotiations with the federation over his future. He said he wanted to stay with the national team “forever”, but knew that might not be possible.

Luis Enrique, 52, who was not long ago considered one of the toughest coaches in football, has been open at the World Cup, doing live streams, cycling and candid talks about controversial issues.

The team’s elimination in Qatar raises more questions about whether Spain should begin to overhaul its football philosophy and get rid of the time-inefficient “tiki-taka” possession style. recent or not. Luis Enrique has said he has no intention of giving up tiki-taka if he continues as a coach, and De la Fuente is likely to keep it too.

De la Fuente is expected to make his first-team debut when Spain resume qualifying for Euro 2024 next March. The league is also changing its sporting director.

Associated Press report.

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