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Luis Enrique sacked as Spain manager after Morocco World Cup upset as De la Fuente takes his place

  • Spain shocked by Morocco
  • Exit at last-16 stage
  • Decide to change coach

WHAT HAPPENED? Luis Enrique's time as Spain manager is up following a disappointing 2022 World Cup campaign. La Roja kicked off with an impressive 7-0 win over Costa Rica but ended up going out at the last-16 stage on penalties to Morocco. The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have now confirmed Luis Enrique has been sacked as coach.

WHAT THEY 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," read a statement. "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, José Francisco Molina, have transmitted the decision to the coach."

AND WHAT'S MORE: The RFEF have also announced Luis Enrique's immediate replacement, with U21 head coach Luis de la Fuente set to be officially presented in his new role as senior boss on Monday.

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A separate statement reads: ''The RFEF has chosen Luis de la Fuente as the new absolute national coach. The sports director, José Francisco Molina, has forwarded a report to the president, Luis Rubiales, in which he recommends the choice of the coach from La Rioja, until now the U-21 coach, to lead the new stage that begins after the World Cup in Qatar. Once his appointment is ratified by the board of directors, Luis de la Fuente would be presented on Monday, December 12 at 12:30 p.m. in the Luis Aragonés room of the Ciudad del Fútbol.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Luis Enrique's contract was due to expire at the end of the year and the decision has been made not to extend his tenure following an underwhelming campaign in Qatar. Spain were expected to go deep into the tournament but only progressed to the knockout round as runners-up behind Japan in Group E and were then dumped out by a spirited Morocco side.

DID YOU KNOW? Spain have been eliminated in three of their last four games in the round of 16 at the World Cup, losing on penalties at this stage in each of the last two editions.


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WHAT NEXT? Spain's next fixture is against Norway in March in qualifying for Euro 2024, which will see De la Fuente step into the dugout for the first time.