'I'm sorry I couldn't help more' - Luis Enrique apologetic to Spain players after getting sacked over World Cup exit
- Coach was sacked after Spain eliminated
- La Roja beaten by Morocco in last 16
- Luis de la Fuente named new manager
WHAT HAPPENED? Spain were knocked out of the competition at the last 16 stage, suffering a shock defeat to Morocco in a penalty shootout. The coach was sacked in the wake of their collapse and he took to social media to issue a message to the players and fans.
WHAT THEY SAID: "Of course, to the players who have been exemplary in their behavior and faithful to the idea raised. I'm sorry I couldn't help you more," he wrote on Instagram. "Also to the assistants... who work tirelessly to help the players and the staff in everything what we need. It has been very special to be a part of this.
"Last but not least, to the fans who have uniformly shown their support for us at all times and especially in the most delicate ones. It's time to say goodbye and in these cases just a little reflection... what the team needs is SUPPORT in all its meaning so that [new coach] Luis de la Fuente achieves everything he wants. Let's go SPAIN! Until forever. Thank you! LEMG."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Luis de la Fuente, who coached the Spain Under-21 team, has been promoted to take over as head coach after the sacking of the 52-year-old. Luis Enrique was initially appointed Spain coach in 2018 and took them to the Euro 2020 semi-final and the runners-up spot in the UEFA Nations League in 2021.
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DID YOU KNOW? Spain have lost four of the five penalty shootouts they have been involved in at a World Cup, more than any other team in the tournament's history.
WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? La Roja will try to regroup in the coming months before their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign gets underway in March.