DOHA: Spain sacked coach Luis Enrique on Thursday after the 2010 champions have been dumped out of the World Cup by Morocco on the last-16 stage, rapidly naming his alternative as under-21s boss Luis de la Fuente.
Spain began their marketing campaign in Qatar in model by hammering Costa Rica 7-Zero and certified for the knockout section regardless of a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan.
They have been robust favourites for his or her last-16 match in opposition to Morocco however crashed out on penalties after the sport completed goalless following extra-time.
“Both the president, Luis Rubiales, and the sporting director, Jose Francisco Molina, have told the coach their decision,” the RFEF (soccer association) mentioned in an announcement.
They mentioned they wished to thank Luis Enrique and his employees for his or her work, however had determined to begin a “new project”.
Shortly afterwards, the federation introduced that De la Fuente, who led Spain’s males’s crew to the silver medal finally 12 months’s Olympics, was the brand new man within the hotseat.
Luis Enrique had mentioned he wished to remain on as coach after the defeat by Morocco on Tuesday.
“I am very happy with the Spanish FA, the president and with (the sporting director),” he mentioned.
“If it was up to me I would stay all my life, but that is not the case. I have to think calmly what is the best for me and for the national team.”
Spain final lifted a serious trophy a decade in the past at Euro 2012, whereas they haven’t gained a single knockout recreation on the Word Cup since triumphing in South Africa in 2010.
Luis Enrique took over in 2018 after Spain’s disappointing exhibiting on the World Cup in Russia, and led La Roja to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, the place they have been additionally overwhelmed on penalties, by Italy.
His time as Spain coach was characterised by a agency dedication to sustaining possession.
They tried greater than 1,000 passes in opposition to Morocco however ended up with nothing to point out for it, forcing Yassine Bounou into just one save earlier than the shootout.
“We dominated the game but we lacked a goal,” lamented Luis Enrique. “We may have been more practical within the remaining third, however I’m greater than glad with what my gamers did.
“They represented perfectly what my idea of football is.”
The RFEF introduced De la Fuente as Luis Enrique’s alternative and his appointment shall be ratified subsequent week by the federation’s board of administrators.
“The new coach will make his debut in March for Euro 2024 qualifiers, taking charge of his first games against Norway and Scotland,” mentioned the RFEF in an announcement.
De la Fuente shall be formally offered on Monday because the coach.
The 61-year-old is a coach who additionally likes his crew to maintain maintain of the ball, however is extra versatile than his predecessor and keen to strive different methods when needed.
Many of the younger gamers within the Spain World Cup squad beforehand performed for De la Fuente at youth stage.
Last 12 months De la Fuente coached the Spain nationwide crew in a pleasant in opposition to Lithuania, utilizing U21 gamers, as the primary crew squad and employees have been compelled to quarantine after one constructive Covid case, as protocol demanded on the time.