Luis Enrique refuses to confirm his continuation as coach of Spain after the exit from the World Cup

Spain coach Luis Enrique refused to confirm whether he would remain in his post after his team’s elimination in the round of 16.

Spain lost 3-0 on penalties to Morocco, after drawing 0-0 after extra time, and have struggled in attack since their 7-0 win over Costa Rica in the opening match.

Enrique has been coaching the Spain national team since 2018, although he stepped down for four months in 2019 due to illness and the subsequent death of his daughter.

He led Spain to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, where they also lost on penalties to eventual winners Italy.

Ahead of Tuesday’s match, he claimed his players had all taken “1,000 penalties”, but none of the team’s three players – Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets – managed to score.


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Speaking about his future after the match, he said: “I can’t tell you. Your colleagues have already asked me and I don’t know because I don’t know this decision.”

“Now is not the time to talk about my future. My contract will end, but I am happy with the national team, the federation, the president and Molina.

“I can always go on but I need to think and have peace of mind about what is best for me and my national team.”

Afterwards asked to explain the penalty kick debacle, he replied, “The explanation is very easy. I chose the shooters. I thought they were the best shooters. If we did it again, I’d choose the same shooters. I left it up to them to decide. I gave them complete liberty. If I get a penalty shootout again, I would only change the opponent’s goalkeeper.

“They carried out all my instructions 100 per cent. They followed the plan. But they couldn’t score the goal. It’s the end.”

“There is no point in punishing the players. I have complete faith in the players. I feel sorry that some players did not play at all, one of them being Pablo Sarabia who only participated in penalty kicks.

“I was unfair to him (for giving him so little playing time earlier in the tournament). That is the only blame I have with myself.”

Morocco moves to the quarter-finals, where it will play Portugal or Switzerland.


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(Photo: Getty Images)


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