Spain's coach Luis Enrique quits over 'personal reasons'; Roberto Moreno replaces him

 Comments
Spain's coach Luis Enrique quits over 'personal reasons'; Roberto Moreno replaces him
Copyright
REUTERS/Santiago Ferrero
Text size Aa Aa

Luis Enrique resigned as Spain's football coach on Wednesday, citing personal reasons. Roberto Moreno, who was Luis Enrique’s number two, will succeed him.

"Owing to the fact that the circumstances which have prevented me from carrying out my role as coach since March continue today I have decided to leave the role,"Luis Enrique said in a brief statement on the Spanish national team's website.

Luis Enrique expressed his gratitude to everyone at the Spanish football federation (RFEF) for “the faith they have shown me and for understanding the situation” and thanked everyone for “their professionalism” and the media for “showing discretion and respect for the situation”.

Federation president Luis Rubiales said the decision to leave came entirely from Luis Enrique.

"It was a decision Luis Enrique took himself which we are grateful for. We will have a perfect memory of him," Rubiales told a news conference.

"It's a personal matter which doesn't depend on us. We think it's the best thing to do. We have stayed united behind Luis Enrique and the doors of the federation will always be open to him."

Luis Enrique became Spain's coach last July after Julen Lopetegui was fired for negotiating a move to the Real Madrid on the eve of the men's World Cup.

Formerly AS Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona's coach, Luis Enrique took charge of Spain's UEFA Nations League campaign where they failed to reach the semi-finals.

A wind of change came when Moreno took over coaching the team, beating Malta 2-0 in March and winning 4-1 at the Faroe Islands and defeating Sweden 3-0 at home.

Moreno said it was a "bittersweet day" for him, adding he had always "dreamed about being a coach but not in this way."

"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."

Rubiales said they had not considered any other candidates to take over the position other than Moreno.

"We started a new sporting project here a year ago which is going stupendously well and we wanted that project to continue. If we'd have hired a different coach the project would have changed."

Spain's football captain Sergio Ramos said in a tweet: "each team victory will also be yours. You have all our support."