World Cup 2022: Luis Enrique refuses to discuss Spain future after exit


Luis Enrique has refused to confirm that he will stay on as Spain head coach after his team were dumped out of the World Cup by Morocco.

Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all missed from 12 yards before Achraf Hakimi struck the winning spot-kick in a 3-0 penalty shootout victory.

The result means Spain’s wait for a knockout win at this tournament extends to 12 years, their last coming when they won the trophy back in 2010.

Luis Enrique has led his national team since 2018, though stepping down for four months in 2019 following the death of his daughter.

The early stage of this departure and the manner of it – Spain attempted more than 1,000 passes with only a single shot on target – sparked questions over whether he would continue, however.

“I can’t tell you,” he said when asked. “Your colleagues already asked me and I don’t know because I don’t know this decision.

“Now is not the time for me to talk about my future. My contract is going to end, but I’m happy with the national team, with the federation, with the president.

“I could always carry on but I need to think and have peace of mind about what’s the best for me and my national team.”

Following another shootout exit, to Russia in 2018, Luis Enrique had revealed ahead of the game that he had asked his players to “take 1,000 penalties” a year ago in preparation for this tournament.

Instead, he watched as all three of the kicks his side attempted were missed.

“The explanation is very easy. I chose the shooters,” he said when asked whether he had any regrets. “I thought they were the best shooters. If we did it again, I would choose the same shooters. I left it for them to decide. I gave them total freedom. If I had another penalty shoot-out, I would only change the opposition goalkeeper.

“They executed 100 per cent all my instructions. They followed the plan. But they couldn’t score a goal. That’s the end.

“There’s no point in punishing the players. I have total belief in my players. I just feel sorry that some of the players didn’t play at all, one of them Pablo Sarabia who was only fielded to shoot penalties.

“I was very unfair with him. That’s the only reproach I have with myself.”

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