Spain coach Luis Enrique fired, De la Fuente takes over

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Luis Enrique has left his job as Spain’s coach after being knocked out of the World Cup at the last-16 stage, with Luis de la Fuente taking over.

Tipped to go deep into the competition in Qatar, La Roja were dumped out by Morocco in a penalty shootout which saw none of their three spot-kick takers score.

A statement by the Spanish FA (RFEF) on Thursday confirmed the former Barcelona boss’ departure and appointment of Under-21s coach De La Fuente as his successor.

It 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 RFEF has delivered a report to the president that a new project should start for the Spanish national team, with the aim of continuing with the growth achieved in recent years thanks to the work carried out by Luis Enrique. The president, Luis Rubiales, and the sports director, Jose Francisco Molina, have transmitted this decision to the coach.”

Read more: FIFA World Cup quarter-finals 2022: which teams qualified?

Luis Enrique, 52, was appointed Spain coach in July 2018 but stepped down for a period a year later due to the death of his young daughter, Xana, from bone cancer.

On his return, he led the team to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 before a defeat on penalties. They also finished as runners-up in last year’s Nations League finals.

Spain had started their World Cup campaign with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica but failed to win again in Qatar, drawing to Germany before losing against Japan.

Their run ended when a 0-0 draw against Morocco, which underlined the struggles in attack which dominated Luis Enrique’s tenure, was followed by a penalty shootout defeat.


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