Luis Enrique Out as Spain's Manager Following 2022 World Cup Exit originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Morocco's shocking round of 16 victory on Tuesday not only put an end to Spain's World Cup hopes, but also Luis Enrique's time in charge.
The Spanish FA announced the departure of Luis Enrique as national team coach on Thursday and named Luis de la Fuente as the replacement.
"The RFEF would like to thank Luis Enrique and his entire coaching staff at the helm of the absolute national team in recent years," the Spanish FA said in a statement.
Luis Enrique's contract was set to expire at the end of December. Now, Spain's board of directors must approve the appointment of de la Fuente's on Monday.
Luis Enrique took the helm of Spain's national team in July 2018 after stints at Roma, Celta and Barcelona between 2011 and 2017. He led Spain to the Euro 2020 semifinals, the 2021 Nations League final and the 2023 Nations League final four.
Spain won its first World Cup in 2010 but has struggled in the tournament since. La Roja was bounced in the 2014 group stage and eliminated on penalty kicks in the 2018 round of 16. It was another round of PKs that doomed Spain in Qatar, as Morocco dominated Tuesday's shootout for a surprising win at Education City Stadium.
Luis Enrique immediately took full blame for the result following the match and posted a lengthy message on Thursday thanking the Spanish FA, his players and the country's supporters.
de la Fuente managed Spain's U19 team from 2013 to 2018 before taking over the U21 team. He led the U19 team to a European Championship triumph in 2015 and did the same with the U21 team in 2019. He was in charge of Spain's Tokyo Olympic team in the summer of 2021, as well, guiding his country to a silver medal.
Goalkeeper Unai Simón, midfielder Pedri and forwards Marco Asensio and Dani Olmo were among the members from that Olympic team who played for Spain at the 2022 World Cup. Now, they will reunite with de la Fuente as La Roja aims to climb back to the top of European and international soccer.