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Luis Enrique reappointed to Spain job after stepping down for personal reasons

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder’s nine-year-old daughter tragically died from bone cancer earlier this year.

Luis Enrique.
Luis Enrique.
Image: Carlos Sanchez Martinez

LUIS ENRIQUE HAS been reinstated as Spain national team manager.

Spain swatted aside Romania 5-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday to confirm their participation at Euro 2020, but eyebrows were raised when head coach Roberto Moreno cancelled his post-match press conference following the match.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) called a snap press conference for this morning, and it was speculated that Enrique was ready to return to the hot seat after officially stepping down in June due to personal issues.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales and sporting director Jose Francisco Molina spoke to journalists to confirm the news at the media briefing. 

Enrique didn’t initially reveal his reasons for vacating the job, but it became apparent in August when his nine-year-old daughter Xana tragically died of bone cancer in August.

Moreno, who was Enrique’s No 2, has guided Spain to a nine-match unbeaten run since his first match in a charge – a 2-0 win against Malta in March.

juventus-turin-vs-fc-barcelona Enrique with his daughter Xana in 2015. Source: DPA/PA Images

Despite struggling in October in away draws against Norway and Sweden, La Roja clicked in this international break with the 7-0 belting of Malta last Thursday prior to the Romania thrashing Following a 4-0 victory against the Faroe Islands in September, Moreno admitted the team was still connected to their former boss and dedicated the result to him.

It upsets me to talk about it, but this team is his [Luis Enrique's] more than anyone’s,” Moreno said post-match. “It is a tiny thing, but we wanted to dedicate it, especially here in El Molinon.”

Enrique was appointed Spain boss in July 2018 following a tumultuous World Cup in Russia that saw Julen Lopetegui sacked in the lead-up the tournament with Fernando Hierro taking over in the interim.

He previously managed Barcelona between 2014-17, winning the Champions League, two league titles and three Copas del Rey.

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Enrique decided not to renew his contract when it expired in June 2017, before having a 13-month sabbatical prior to be appointed Spain boss.

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