Luis Enrique Returns As Spain Coach

Luis Enrique has made a sensational comeback as Spain manager five months after stepping down for personal reasons.

Enrique resigned from the role after 11 months in the job due to the illness of his daughter Xana, who tragically passed away from bone cancer in September.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales said: “Everyone knew that if Luis Enrique wanted to come back he had the doors open.

“Luis Enrique will continue to the Qatar World Cup [in 2022].”

Enrique was appointed national team boss following Spain’s exit from the 2018 World Cup in the last 16.

He was in charge for the Nations League, where Spain failed to reach the semi-finals, and remained in place for the beginning of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

The Spaniard travelled back home for personal reasons before Spain’s 2-0 victory in Malta in March and Moreno was placed in temporary charge.

Enrique then stepped down three months later and was permanently replaced by his assistant, Robert Moreno whose final game in charge was the 5-0 thrashing of Romania in their final Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday.

It saw Spain wrap up qualification for Euro 2020 without losing a game.

Moreno refused to give the usual post-match news conference after the game and Spanish media reported it was his last in charge of the national side with Enrique set to reprise the role.

El Mundo says he bid farewell to the players after the game in tears.

Moreno, who also worked under Enrique at Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona, won four out of six games in charge of Spain and drew two, with his side clinching a place at Euro 2020 last month with a 1-1 draw away to Sweden.

Spain also won all three games when Moreno took temporary charge between March and June while Luis Enrique was on leave. They finished top of Group F, taking 26 points from 10 games.

Moreno, an international relations graduate who had no playing career, was thrust into the biggest job in Spanish football in unusual circumstances following Luis Enrique’s resignation in June.

He revealed he felt “bittersweet” about getting the role, and in September said he would be happy to step aside if Luis Enrique decided he wished to return to the job.

Questions about Moreno’s suitability for the role began to emerge following sluggish 1-1 draws away to Norway and Sweden in October, although Spain responded to those results by hammering Malta 7-0 on Friday to clinch top spot in Group F.

Doubts grew about Moreno’s future when federation president Rubiales declined to say whether he would be in charge at Euro 2020.

Moreno said before the Romania game that he was not ruffled by Rubiales’ dithering over his future and suggested he was confident he would remain in charge.

“It’s normal that you are questioned in your job, especially if you are in the spotlight, and all I can do is focus on my work. I think I have a 10 out of 10 chance of staying,” he said.