Luis Enrique is the man tasked with taking the Spain national team into a new era, it has been announced, after Fernando Hierro stepped aside as coach.
The 48-year-old has signed an initial two-year contract but will not be officially unveiled until next week, said Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales.
“We have two very intense and important years [ahead of us] and the new coach fits all of the requirements [we were looking for],” said Rubiales, who also admitted: “We didn’t approach anyone else, we only spoke to Luis Enrique.”
Luis Enrique who won two consecutive La Liga titles during his time as manager of Barcelona, is an “indisputable leader within the dressing room” and someone who “command[s] a hundred per cent respect”, according to Rubiales who also appointed former Valencia and Atlético Madrid goalkeeper José Francisco Molina as sporting director.
The duo replace Fernando Hierro who was thrust into the managerial spotlight just two days before the World Cup began following the shock dismissal of Julen Lopetegui.
Hierro, who had been sporting director until that point, led the team to the knockout stages where they were defeated by hosts Russia.
Having been offered the chance to return to his former role, Hierro declined, telling the RFEF that he would be searching for new “professional challenges” having accepted responsibility for Spain’s failure.
Luis Enrique and Molina must now revive the fortunes of a team which has not progressed to the quarter finals in the last three major tournaments.