BREAKING NEWS: Spain AXE manager Luis Enrique over their shock World Cup exit, less than 24 hours after he landed back from Qatar, after his 1,000 penalty plan failed and fans fumed over playing style
Luis Enrique has been sacked by Spain after the country crashed out of the World Cup with a shock last-16 defeat to Morocco.
It follows an underwhelming World Cup in which they finished second in their group following a stunning defeat to Japan, before crashing out following another upset against Morocco on Tuesday.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed the news in a post on their social media account on Thursday morning.
Spain have sacked manager Luis Enrique after they crashed out of the World Cup
Spain were knocked out at the last-16 stage of the tournament on penalties against Morocco
His sacking comes less than 24 hours after he arrived back in Spain after flying from Qatar
Against Morocco, Spain failed to convert their domination in possession to goals in a 0-0 draw, before they missed all three of their penalties in a shootout defeat.
A statement from Spain’s football federation said: ‘The RFEF would like to thank Luis Enrique and his entire coaching staff at the helm of the absolute national team in recent years.
‘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 Soccer 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, Jose Francisco Molina, have transmitted the decision to the coach.’
They added: ‘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.’
It was the third time in a row that Spain have crashed out of a major tournament on penalties
Enrique took over after the 2018 World Cup but failed to build on their last-16 exit in Russia
Enrique took over the role in 2018 from former Spain teammate Fernando Hierro after they crashed out of that year’s World Cup in a penalty shootout defeat to hosts Russia in the last-16.
They did show progress at Euro 2020 where they made it to the semi-finals where they were knocked out by eventual champions Italy – on a penalty shootout.
Ahead of Qatar, Enrique instructed his players to each take 1,000 penalties to help them avoid a further repeat of another heartbreaking exit after a shootout.
That did nothing to help them though as Carlos Soler, Pablo Sarabia and Sergio Busquets all failed to score from the spot.
Spain’s World Cup started off in style with a 7-0 thrashing against Costa Rica, but have since only scored twice as they failed to beat Portugal, Japan and Morocco.
Fans have criticised Enrique’s style of play, while the Spanish press blasted Enrique’s side as ‘impotent’, having ‘possession for the sake of it’ and lacking ideas after their shock World Cup exit.