Spain’s national football coach Luis Enrique has resigned for personal reasons and will be replaced by his number two, Robert Moreno, the country’s federation president Luis Rubiales said in a news conference on Wednesday.
“It was a decision Luis Enrique took himself which we are grateful for. We will have a perfect memory of him. It’s a personal matter which doesn’t depend on us. We think it’s the best thing to do,” Rubiales said.
Luis Enrique, 49, became Spain coach last July after their exit from the 2018 World Cup to hosts Russia under interim coach Fernando Hierro after Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the tournament for negotiating a move to Real Madrid.
A former coach with AS Roma, Celta Vigo, and Barcelona, Luis Enrique took charge of Spain’s UEFA Nations League campaign, where they failed to reach the semi-finals, finishing second in their group behind England.
He began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 home win over Norway but flew home hours before their second game away to Malta in March for personal reasons.
Moreno has taken charge since then, with Spain beating Malta 2-0 in March and winning 4-1 at the Faroe Islands and defeating Sweden 3-0 at home earlier this month.
“It’s a bittersweet day for me. I dreamed about being a coach but not in this way,” said the 41-year-old Moreno, who has no experience as a first team manager apart from in the last three months as the national team’s caretaker coach.
“We’re going to work honestly and try to take the work Luis Enrique did to the highest level by qualifying for and winning Euro 2020.”