• World Cup 2022

Official: Luis Enrique leaves Spain after World Cup exit

© Ace Football

The Royal  Spanish Football Federation won’t extend national team manager Luis Enrique’s contract, which expires at the end of this month.

Spain manager Luis Enrique will vacate his post after the national team’s World Cup exit at the last 16 stage.

The announcement came after Spain suffered a second straight last-16 defeat in the World Cup on Tuesday. Morocco bested the Spaniards 3-0 on penalties after holding them to a 0-0 stalemate.

The RFEF, therefore, confirmed it won’t extend Enrique’s reported €1.5 million-a-year contract, which runs out  at the end of 2022. The federation thanked the 52-year-old in an open statement on Thursday. At the same time, however, it also stressed a desire to start afresh with a new project aimed at continuing the progress made in recent years.

Enrique coached the Spanish national team over two spells between 2018 and 2022. In 44 matches across all competitions, the former Barcelona manager collected 24 wins (D11 L9). He led Spain to the Euro 2020 semi-finals and to the final of the 2021 Nations League, which they lost 2-1 to France.

At the time of writing, the RFEF has not named a replacement for Enrique as the new head coach.

Reports have recently linked Spain U-21 boss Luis de la Fuente, former Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, and ex-Valencia and Athletic Club coach Marcelino Garcia Toral to the position.

Spain return to action on March 25 for a Euro 2024 qualifier against Norway in Group A.