Luis Enrique Reappointed Spain Manager, Takes over from Robert Moreno

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 19, 2019

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MARCH 23:  Luis Enrique the head coach / manager of Spain during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group F qualifying match between Spain and Norway at Estadi de Mestalla on March 23, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Luis Enrique has been reappointed Spain manager five months after he stepped down from the role, taking over from former assistant Robert Moreno. 

Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales addressed the media on Tuesday and confirmed Enrique would return to his old position, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Rubiales at presser "Today we can confirm that Luis Enrique is returning to his job."

Rubiales explained it was the departing Moreno who informed the RFEF of Enrique's desire to come back following his absence, and that the new coach will have full authority to appoint his own support staff:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Rubiales at presser: "We want to thank Robert Moreno for his work, he did very well, and we are very happy with what he did. But I repeat that Robert Moreno told us he'd spoken with Luis Enrique, who had told him he wanted to return. We found out thru Moreno that LE wanted back."

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Rubiales on if Robert Moreno going to continue in any role... "Luis Enrique can choose his own staff"

Former Barcelona and Celta Vigo coach Enrique, 49, left the post in June to care for his then-ill daughter Xana, who died at the age of nine of osteosarcoma (bone cancer).

Moreno, 42, took over the team midway through qualification for UEFA Euro 2020 and guided Spain to a first-place finish in Group F, ending with an unbeaten record of eight wins and two draws. The first four results in qualifying (all victories) came while Enrique was still in charge. 

Spain completed their Group F campaign with a 5-0 hammering of Romania at the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday. The Guardian's Sid Lowe wrote that Moreno—who previously served as Enrique's assistant—was in tears following the victory, and neither he nor Spain's players addressed the media after the game.

Moreno said in September that he would "step to the side" in the event Enrique wished to return to the Spain hot seat, per Marca (h/t Football Espana).

It was expected Moreno would resume his role as Spain's assistant manager. However, Lowe wrote "the way it was finally managed appears to have made that impossible," suggesting Moreno felt the situation was mishandled.

Moreno also previously served as Enrique's assistant coach throughout his spells at Celta (2013-14) and Barcelona (2014-17), having taken up his first senior management position as Spain boss.

His unbeaten record with the national team seems likely to attract attention in terms of prospective positions elsewhere.

Enrique replaced Fernando Hierro as Spain manager in July last year following the 2018 FIFA World Cup, winning eight games and losing twice before he officially stepped down from the position. His only defeats in the role came against England and Croatia in the UEFA Nations League (both 3-2 losses).

Spain have changed manager five times since 2010 World Cup-winning coach Vicente del Bosque stepped down in June 2016, but they'll hope Enrique can map their way back to the top in time for Euro 2020.


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