The return of Luis Enrique Martínez to the selection means the restoration of a project that was truncated by the serious illness of his daughter and that now will continue at least until the World Cup in Qatar 2022, as announced on Tuesday by the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales.
“Because the reasons that prevented me from developing my duties as a coach normally since last March continue today, I have decided to leave that position,” the Spaniard announced on June 19 in an open letter. The reason, unknown at the time, was the serious illness and subsequent death of his daughter Xana in August.
Five months later, Luis Enrique returns to a project that, in his first and brief stage, led him to lead only six games with the Spanish team, whose shirt he wore 62 times during his time as a player. To date, his balance in the national bench is four wins and two losses.
The Spaniard, who throughout his career as a coach has also directed to Barcelona B, Rome, Celta and Barcelona, where he achieved a historic triplet, was chosen by Rubiales and his sports director, José Francisco Molina, to repair and guide the battered ‘ship’ of the national team after the 2018 World Cup.
When he had not been in office for a month, Rubpe ‘Lopetegui’ bomb exploded, with the announcement of Real Madrid signing the coach a few days after the debut in Russia. The president opted for the dismissal of the Basque coach and Fernando Hierro had to assume his position in a situation of maximum urgency.
After the championship, which Spain completed with more pain than glory and eliminated by the host in the round of 16, Hierro left the bench and in the RFEF they opted for Luis Enrique Martinez to fill the vacancy.
A HOPE HOME IN WEMBLEY
The Asturian coach had been out of work since the 2016/17 season, when he finished his three-year success in Barcelona, and starred in a great premiere in office, with a symbolic victory at Wembley (1-2) followed by a win against the world runner-up Croatia (6-0).
They are, however, the triple champion of Europe escaped in the end the ‘Final Four’ of the new League of Nations for the benefit of the ‘pross’ for their defeats in Villamarín (2-3) and Zagreb (3-2) , although he maintained the category in League A.
The selection did not return to action until the end of March with the start of the road to the European Championship. Luis Enrique continued to reward states of form and the debut against Norway continued to make it clear that the national team was still missing some offensive success.
The ‘Red’ signed a good game, but suffered to win 2-1 to the Norwegians thanks to a penalty transformed by Sergio Ramos. Days later, a placid victory, somewhat short, in the visit to Malta (0-2) and with a double from Morata, in a match marked by the sudden march due to a private problem of the already ex-selector before the match was held that in the end he led to resign.
Now, Luis Enrique has seven months to readjust his project, without Robert as an assistant, and arrive with the maximum possible guarantees to the European Championship, where Spain has the need to forget several disappointments; Since winning the 2012 Euro Cup, the ‘Red’ has been eliminating in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup and in the round of 16 of the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup.