Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Luis Enrique reigns in Spain following early World Cup exit

Rafa Benitez-Spain GETTY Rafa Benitez Julen Lopetegui left Spain for Real Madrid right before the World Cup started
Chelsea Rogers | 10 July, 2018, 09:34

Luis Enrique admitted in 2015 he would be "very keen" to one day coach the national team.

Former Real Madrid player Luis Enrique has been named new Spain's La Roja boss.

Speaking at a press conference widely covered by the Spanish media, RFEF president Luis Rubiales said Enrique's appointment, on a two-year contract with no escape clause, had been unanimously agreed by the board.

Enrique will be taking over from Lopetegui, who was sacked by Rubiales when the coach announced he had signed to take over at Real Madrid.

Fernando Hierro, who led Spain at the 2018 World Cup, has stepped down as coach and will not return to his former role as sporting director.

Enrique has been out of management since leaving Barcelona last summer.

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Hierro, 50, who replaced Julen Lopetegui as stand-in boss before Spain's doomed World Cup campaign has also turned down the option to return to his previous role of sports director.

In fact, Spain's only victory in Russian Federation came in the form of a 1-0 win over Iran who ensured that the European side had to fight hard for all three points.

Enrique will also be taking over a team shorn of captain Andres Iniesta, who has retired from worldwide football.

Hierro had previously said he accepted responsibility for the team's failure to advance any further in the World Cup.

After he retired from playing, Luis Enrique spent six months living in Byron Bay on Australia's east coast.

Lopetegui was dismissed it was announced that he would take over at Real Madrid after the tournament. His first game in charge will be a friendly against England, on 8 September at Wembley.

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