The Associated PressMADRID (AP) — Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has signed a two-year deal to take charge of Spain.
He replaces Julen Lopetegui, who was fired on the eve of the World Cup after accepting the job at Real Madrid. Fernando Hierro took control for the finals, where 2010 world champion and 2008 and 2012 European Championship winner Spain was knocked out 4-3 on penalties by host Russia in the last 16.
“The decision has been unanimous,” Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales said on Luis Enrique’s appointment. “I like his commitment. He has let better financial opportunities pass in order to be national team coach.
“This coach fulfills all the parameters to take charge of the team. Luis Enrique is bringing his backroom staff, but this is a matter he will speak about next week.”
Enrique, as both player and coach, didn’t fit the typical model of the cerebral tactician steeped in the ways of Barcelona. But his fiery spirit proved to be just as successful.