Spain dropped its coach Luis Enrique following its elimination in the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup by Morocco during the Round of 16 last Tuesday, December 6.
Rumors circulated that the Spaniards were “thoroughly” prepared for the World Cup. Enrique had his players take 1,000 penalties each in 2021 — an “edge” over opponents if they reach a shootout.
It became fruitless, nevertheless.
The 2010 World Cup champions bowed to Morocco via a shootout 0-3 when their match reached the 120-minute limit, thus kicking them off the list of favorites to win the elusive trophy.
Morocco’s defense in their matchup was outstanding. Despite Spain having the ball in their hands throughout the game, the Moroccans prevented getting scored on. As a result, they went straight to a penalty shootout.
Although Spain shot 1,000 penalties in anticipation of a shootout in the World Cup, they were egged upon by Morocco. Hakim Ziyech, Abdelhamid Sabiri, and Achraf Hakimi all capitalize on their chances to score, upping the score 0-3.
The Spaniards, unfortunately, missed all their targets, including Sergio Busquets. The two players that failed to score for Spain were Pablo Sarabia and Carlos Sole.
During this year’s WC, the Spaniards crushed Costa Rica with a 7-0 victory. However, their match against Germany reached a draw, followed by a loss to Japan.
Enrique has yet to release a statement regarding Spain’s decision to fire him after the humiliating loss.
Another Luis will replace Luis Enrique
The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) recently released a statement stating that Luis de la Fuente will replace Luis Enrique as the new national coach.
“The sporting management of the RFEF has handed to the president a report in which it is determined a new project should start for the Spain national team, with the aim of continuing with the growth achieved in recent years thanks to the work of Luis Enrique and his coaches.
“Both the president, Luis Rubiales, and the sports director, Jose Francisco Molina, have transmitted the decision to [Luis Enrique]. The RFEF energetically wishes Luis Enrique and his team the best of luck in their future professional projects,” RFEF wrote.
They added, “The sporting director of the RFEF (José Francisco Molina) has shown a report to the President (Luis Rubiales) which shows a new project for the National Team must begin, with the objective of continuing the growth achieved in the last few years by Luis Enrique and his staff. Both the President and the Sporting Director have told the coach of the decision that has been taken.”
De La Fuente, 61, managed Spain’s young football team, giving them the 2015 European Champions title for the Under 19. He also offered his country gold after he led the under-18 at the Mediterranean Games in 2018.
He also guided Spain’s Under-21 to the European Championship before acquiring an Olympic Silver during the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
De La Fuente’s appointment will be confirmed today, December 12, after a meeting by the RFEF’s board of directors.
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