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Luis Enrique leaves his position as Spain manager following embarrassing World Cup exit

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By Martin Graham | 9th Dec 2022

Luis Enrique has stepped down from his role as the manager of La Furia Roja after their loss to Morocco at the World Cup. Enrique has been replaced by Luis de la Fuente.

Spain was one of the heavyweights at the World Cup. They were favourites to win the tournament alongside teams like France, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands. The team came to Qatar with a rich World Cup history and a tradition of playing exciting and entertaining football.

Despite their reputation, the Luis Enrique-led team seemed off and didn’t look as commanding as their previous squads. La Furia Roja seems to have lost its edge. The Qatar 2022 World Cup looked like a final test for Luis Enrique – a test he failed badly.

La Furia Roja has been under plenty of criticism ahead of the World Cup. Spain barely made it past the group stage but found the going too hot when they came up against the Atlas Lions of Morocco. The loss in the round of 16 led to the resignation of Luis Enrique.

Luis Enrique steps down from his role in Spain

Luis Enrique is back on the market after a disastrous World Cup. The former Barcelona manager, who won a treble while at the helm, oversaw a terrible outing for La Furia Roja. They crashed out of the tournament in the round of 16 to Morocco. Enrique took responsibility for the loss and eventually fell on his squad.

Following his resignation less than 48 hours after the penalty shootout loss to Morocco, Enrique has been replaced by now-former Spain under-21 manager Luis de la Fuente. In a statement, the Spanish FA thanked Enrique and his coaching staff for their services over the years. Enrique’s contract was due to expire at the end of the year.

During his spell with La Furia Roja, Enrique once took five months out following the tragic death of his nine-year-old daughter, Xana. He returned to the job and led Spain to the semi-finals of Euro 2020. The round of 16 loss to minnows Morocco sounded the knell on his Spanish voyage.

The sins of Enrique

The Spanish team at the World Cup was full of Barcelona players and youngsters who have yet to cut their teeth at the highest levels. You can call it a team with Europa League standard, as Sergio Busquets (now on his last legs), Pedri, Gavi, Alejandro Balde, Jordi Alba, Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati populated the team.

During the tournament, Spain won only one game against minnows Costa Rica. The 7-0 scoreline masked the deficiencies in the team, as was exposed by Germany and Japan. Morocco finally showed Enrique’s La Furia Roja as an average team with a big name.

Winning games at tournaments was a massive problem for Luis Enrique. La Furia Roja won just one game in regular time at Euro 2020 and performed the same feat at the World Cup. They have been easy on the eye but weak in front of the goal.

Luis Enrique is now available on the market. He was reportedly a candidate for the Man United job in the summer.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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