Spain has announced that Luis Enrique has resigned as national team manager. Spain was ousted from the World Cup in the round of 16 after a devastating penalty shootout loss to Morocco.
After extra time resulted in a scoreless draw, Spain was humiliated when they missed all their penalties in the shootout, which was popular like the Champions League predictions.
Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler, and Sergio Busquets all missed penalties a day after Enrique stated that Spain’s players were instructed to take 1000 penalties. Enrique, the former manager of FC Barcelona, accepted some of the blame for the loss after the game.
He is the fourth coach to be fired following his team’s elimination from the World Cup in Qatar.
Since 2018, Luis Enrique has been the head coach of Spain, except for four months in 2019, when he resigned due to his little daughter’s illness and death.
He guided La Roja to the semifinals of Euro 2020, where they were defeated on penalty kicks by Italy, and to the final of the 2020-21 Nations League, where France defeated them, as it happens in most of the Champions League predictions today.
Spain’s loss against Morocco marked their third consecutive elimination from a tournament on penalties. In 2018, they were eliminated in the round of 16 by the host nation, Russia.
After Luis Enrique’s departure, Spain promoted Under-21 team manager Luis de la Fuente to the head coach position.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) congratulated Luis Enrique for his work and announced that the national squad would begin “a new project” on Thursday. Later, the RFEF announced that Luis de la Fuente had been selected as the next national coach.
In 2013, De la Fuente, age 61, was named the under-15 manager for the RFEF. Before joining the RFEF, he had worked with players such as Marco Asensio, goalkeeper Unai Simon, Eric Garcia, Pau Torres, Pedri, Carlos Soler, and Dani Olmo.
The squad coached by Luis Enrique opened its Qatar 2022 campaign with a 7-0 victory over Costa Rica. The subsequent 1-1 tie against Germany was a respectable outcome.
However, a 2-1 loss to Japan dropped them to second place in Group E, and they could not defeat a Morocco team that was 15 places lower in the most recent FIFA rankings.
Spain failed to convert a single penalty during Tuesday’s shootout, becoming only the second team in World Cup history to do so, following Switzerland’s performance against Ukraine in 2006.
The sports management of the RFEF presented the president with a report in which it was decided that the Spain national team should begin a new project to maintain the development made by Luis Enrique and his coaches over the past several years.
Luis Rubiales, the president, and Jose Francisco Molina, the sports director, informed Luis Enrique of the decision. “The RFEF wishes Luis Enrique and his staff well in their future professional pursuits.”
“Since being hired in 2018, the Asturian coach has given the national team a new lift with a full overhaul that has cemented a generational shift in the team and Spanish football.
Two of Luis Enrique’s teams reached the Final Four in the three UEFA Nations League games he coached, and he guided Spain to the semifinals of Euro 2020 with his mark and style. He chose young players and gave the team optimism for the future.
The RFEF wishes Luis Enrique and his colleagues all the best in their future professional efforts.”
Spain’s Woes Continue
In their opening match in Qatar, Spain defeated Costa Rica 7-0. However, they were stunned by Japan, which caused them to fall second in Group E.
Spain was a heavy favorite to defeat Morocco in the first round, but they fell 3-0 on penalties after extra time and finished 0-0.
After the game, Luis Enrique stated, “We were the superior team, but we failed to score.”
The final third of the game should have improved, but I am pleased with my team’s performance. They were just what I imagined football to be.”
Spain has yet to win a major championship since Euro 2012, ten years ago. Since their 2010 victory in South Africa, they have not won a single World Cup knockout match.
Spain’s next match is the Euro 2024 qualifying match against Norway on March 25, which you will enjoy as you explore Champions League picks.