Soccer-Spain's Luis Enrique lauds his young team for sticking to his plan


Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Round of 16 - Morocco v Spain - Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - December 6, 2022 Spain coach Luis Enrique reacts REUTERS/Pedro Nunes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

DOHA (Reuters) - Spain coach Luis Enrique lauded his young players after their penalty shootout last-16 World Cup exit at the hands of Morocco on Tuesday, saying they did everything he asked of them except score as the 2010 world champions bowed out in Qatar.

"I am more than satisfied with my team. They represented my ideas and my style and I can only praise for them for their attitude in the whole World Cup," the former Barcelona coach told reporters.

"I would also like to congratulate Morocco for their win. They were better than us in the penalty shootout."

Spain dominated possession against the North Africans who, roared by tens of thousands of red-shirted fans, defended for much of the 120 minutes which ended with no goals before Morocco won the shootout 3-0.

Asked about his future - the coach's contract was due to run until the end of Spain's involvement in the World Cup - he said he did not know what lay ahead but he was very happy to be with the national team.

"This is not the right time to talk about my future," he said. "My contract is going to end, as you know, but I am very happy with the national team."

Luis Enrique first took on the Spain coach role in 2018 after their last-16 World Cup penalty shootout defeat earlier that year to hosts Russia but stood down as his daughter fought a losing battle against cancer. He returned to the job in 2019.

He has been linked with jobs at top European clubs in media reports.

Asked by reporters whether he would have done anything differently in the shootout defeat on Tuesday, he said he would once again back the same three players who failed to convert their spotkicks, two of them saved by Morocco's Yassine Bounou.

"If we had another shootout, I would only change Bounou," he said.

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Toby Davis)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

   

Next In Football

Soccer-Salah struggling as Liverpool's front three no longer 'well-drilled' - Klopp
Soccer-Caicedo pleads with Brighton for 'record' move after Arsenal bid rejected
Soccer-Ake earns Man City 1-0 FA Cup win over Premier League leaders Arsenal
Soccer-Szoboszlai double steers Leipzig to 2-1 win over strugglers Stuttgart
Soccer-Everton set to appoint ex-Burnley boss Dyche as manager - reports
Soccer-Atalanta must focus on qualifying for Europe says Gasperini
Soccer-FIFA bans four Uruguay players for World Cup chaos
Soccer-Bournemouth sign Ghana forward Semenyo
Soccer-Inzaghi urges Inter to be more consistent
Soccer-United States to host Copa America 2024 tournament including CONCACAF teams

Others Also Read