The Spanish football association have confirmed that they have parted ways with Luis Enrique ahead of his contract expiring at the end of the year, following Spain’s defeat on penalties to Morocco in the round of 16.
Appointed in 2018, the 52-year-old led Spain to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, as well as the final of the 2020-21 Nations League, but Spain only scraped through the group stages on goal difference despite an impressive 7-0 win over Costa Rica, before a dull game against Morocco ultimately decided his fate.
In the round of 16, despite Spain’s 77% possession, they failed to fashion a clear cut chance, and missed all three of their penalties in the shoot-out to crash out far earlier in the tournament than anticipated.
Speaking after the game, Enrique refused to be drawn on his future. “Now is not the time (to discuss my future)”, he told the media. “I want to see my family and my dogs and be able to be there for them. From next week, when the president deems it appropriate, we will talk. For now, I am not thinking about the future. We must assimilate this disappointment first.”
However, the decision has since been made for the former Barcelona coach and the Spanish National team to part ways.
An official statement read:
“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 Football Team, with the aim of continuing with the growth achieved in recent years thanks to the work carried out by Luis Enrique and their collaborators. Both the president, Luis Rubiales , and the sports director, José Francisco Molina, have informed the coach.
The Asturian coach managed to give a new impetus to the national team since his arrival, in 2018, through a profound renovation that has consolidated a generational change in the team and in Spanish football.
Luis Enrique qualified for two Final Four of the UEFA Nations League, of the three he played as coach; and he reached the semifinals of Euro 2020 with his own stamp and through a defined style. He opted for young talent and has sown hope for the future of the Spanish team.
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.”
Enrique becomes the fifth manager to leave his post after the World Cup, with Mexico boss Gerardo Martino, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, Ghana’s Otto Addo and South Korea’s Paolo Bento all having resigned in the wake of the tournament.