Copy of 2022-12-06T180105Z_877643605_UP1EIC61E1RMA_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-WORLDCUP-MAR-ESP-REPORT-1670927097184
Former Spain coach Luis Enrique. Image Credit: REUTERS

Former Spain coach Luis Enrique is ready for a new challenge and hopes to continue his managerial career at club level, he said after his four-year spell in charge of the national side ended last week following their World Cup exit.

Luis Enrique was sacked on Thursday after Spain lost on penalties to Morocco in the last 16, with the country’s under-21 manager Luis de la Fuente named as his replacement.

“I want to coach, I see myself wanting to take on a club and be able to develop with greater finesse and precision what I have not been able to do in the national side,” Luis Enrique said.

“(But) I will probably wait for next season. This morning I was told I’ve been signed up for a mountain bike race that I’m going to do with my brother.” Luis Enrique added that he was offered the chance to extend his Spain contract after Euro 2020, which was played in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, when Spain were eliminated on penalties by eventual champions Italy in the semi-finals but he refused.

Big event

“I said that the best thing to do was to finish the World Cup (first),” he said. “I think it makes more sense. (Otherwise) they renew you before a big event, as a reinforcement, but if it goes wrong they will have to compensate you.

“Here they simply (needed to) tell me that I was not going to renew and the contract is over.

“I thought I was going to have to make a decision (about my future) but I didn’t even need to”.

The 52-year-old former Barcelona player and coach added that it was the first time in his managerial career that his contract would not be extended.

“I prefer it that way,” Luis Enrique said. “If there is no more trust and the thought that you are not the right person then I am happy to move on.”