Spain Appoint Luiz Enrique As New Manager On 2-year Deal
Replaces Julen Lopetegui
Luis Enrique has been confirmed as Spain’s Head Coach.
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales made the announcement on Monday.
Enrique replaces,caretaker manager Fernando Hierro, who step down after a disappointing World Cup in Russia.
La Roja finished top of their group after a win against Iran and draws against Portugal and Morocco.
They lost 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw with host Russia in the second round.
Hierro walked away from the federation on Sunday in order to take on new challenges, leaving his role as temporary coach and as sporting director.
Luiz Enrique has been on a sabbatical since leaving Barcelona in May 2017, but he has been approached by a number of clubs since then.
He has been a candidate to take over at PSG, Arsenal, Chelsea and Bayern Munich, but ultimately he has become the new coach of La Roja.
The country’s FA executive committee met on Monday and unanimously approved Enrique’a appointment just eight after the national team, the La Roja were eliminated on penalties by hosts Russia in the second round of the World Cup.
‘’It has been approved unanimously by the RFEF’s executive committee the appointment of Luiz Enrique as national team coach for the next two years,’’ Rubiales said in a news conference at the federation’s headquarters in Las Rozas, Madrid.
‘’There’s a total agreement. He’s had bigger offers but he wanted to be national team coach and I want to highlight the sacrifice he has made.
‘’He will be unveiled next week.’’
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, Quique Sanchez Flores and Michel were also candidates to take the job, but Rubiales believed Luis Enrique – who played for La Roja on 62 occasions during his own career – would be the best choice and, as such, the Asturian becomes the 54th national team boss.
‘’We didn’t speak to anyone else, we only spoke to Luiz Enrique,’’ Rubiales said.
‘’He was our first choice, he fits in perfectly with what we want.’’
For Enrique, this is his first position since he left Barcelona in the summer of 2017, after spending three years in the Camp Nou dugout, where he won three Copa del Reys, two LaLiga titles, one Champions League, one Supercopa de Espana, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.
Before Barcelona, he had coached Barcelona B, Celta Vigo and Roma.
The challenge for the new boss is to take Spain back to the top of the international game, as they have fallen in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup and at the last 16 stage at Euro 2016 and at this year’s tournament.