Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Fernando Hierro steps down as Spain manager

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez GETTYNewcastle boss Rafa Benitez is targeted by Spain to be their next manager
Domingo Copeland | 10 July, 2018, 09:36

Luis Rubiales, head of the Spanish FA, will reportedly suggest appointing Luis Enrique as the new boss in a meeting on Monday morning, although Roberto Martínez and Quique Sánchez Flores have also been considered as potential candidates.

Leading newspaper Marca said on their front cover the 48-year-old has been chosen by Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales as the successor to Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked the day before the World Cup.

Hierro was not expected to continue as coach after the World Cup but the RFEF has announced he will not stay with the organisation in any role.

According a UK Sun report, the Real Madrid legend who took over the position just before the ongoing world Cup in Russian Federation, has also distanced himself from his former job as sports director.

The RFEF, however, says nobody else was in consideration. More known for his time in the Camp Nou, the coach needs to normalise his relationship with the capital club and take charge of a game in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

After retiring in 2004, Enrique was groomed as a coach by Barcelona and led the club's B team to promotion to the Spanish second division and then took them to a third-place finish.

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Rubiales added: "We have not spoken to anybody else - only Luis Enrique". "We want the internal environment to be the best".

The news comes swiftly after the appointment of Jose Francisco Molina as the federation's new sporting director.

Fernando Hierro was given the job on a caretaker basis, to at least initially see Spain through this summer's World Cup.

Under the former Real Madrid and Spain defender, who had little previous coaching experience, 2010 winners Spain lost on penalties to host nation Russian Federation in the last 16.

A statement said the former Real Madrid player had "declined" to return to his previous role and has opted to "undertake new professional challenges".

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