Spain appoints Luis Enrique as Lopetegui successor

Spain has a full-time successor to Julen Lopetegui, as former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique secures a return to football.

Former Barcelona player and manager Luis Enrique has been appointed as Spain head coach.   -  AP Photo

Luis Enrique has been appointed Spain's new head coach following the pre-World Cup sacking of Julen Lopetegui, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has confirmed.

Spain's World Cup campaign descended into chaos just two days before its opening game with Portugal, as Lopetegui was fired as a result of agreeing to join Real Madrid after the event.

 

Fernando Hierro, Spain's director of football at the time, stepped in to take the reins over the course of the tournament, as La Roja were eliminated in the last 16 by Russia in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.

Hierro left his post as coach and subsequently resigned from his role as director of football as well, leaving RFEF president Luis Rubiales with significant planning to do.

It emerged on Sunday that Rubiales was to put forward Lopetegui's successor to the RFEF's board on Monday and, shortly after this, Luis Enrique's appointment was made official.

Speaking at a press conference that was not attended by the new coach, Rubiales said: "The decision has been unanimous. This selection complies with all parameters from the sports management criteria.

"Luis Enrique comes with his staff, but he will talk about that next week."

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