Spain’s returning coach Luis Enrique described his predecessor Robert Moreno as “disloyal” on Wednesday and confirmed he will not be part of his coaching team for Euro 2020.
Moreno was removed as coach last week to make way for Luis Enrique’s return, despite Moreno leading Spain through an unbeaten qualifying campaign that ended with a 5-0 thrashing of Romania.
After the game, Moreno did not appear for his post-match press conference and reportedly left the players’ dressing room in tears.
He had been promoted from assistant to head coach after Luis Enrique resigned in June to take care of his daughter, Xana, who died in August of cancer.
Luis Enrique and Moreno had been close friends after previously working together at Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Roma.
“The only one responsible for Moreno not being part of my staff is me,” said Luis Enrique at his unveiling on Wednesday.
“The disagreement came on September 12, it is the only day I had contact with him. He called me and we met at my house and it seemed he wanted to continue for the European Championships and then if I wanted to, he would be my assistant again.
“I understand that he is excited to be a coach and I understand that it is a dream of a lifetime and that he has worked hard for it. But I also understand that he is disloyal - I would never do that and I do not want someone like that in my staff.”
Moreno said in a press conference on September 3 that he would be “the first and most delighted to step aside” if Luis Enrique decided he wanted to come back.
“I feel responsible and I am not proud of how everything ended, I do not like to see people suffer,” Luis Enrique said.
Luis Enrique confirmed that he has signed a three-year contract until the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
“I have no problem if the president (of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales) believes someone else can do better. I have no problem leaving.”
He was appointed coach in July 2018 following a turbulent World Cup for Spain, which saw Julen Lopetegui sacked as coach two days before their opening game against Portugal.
Director of football Fernando Hierro took temporary charge but the Spanish were knocked out by Russia in the last 16.
“Today is a special day for me and my family, I return home,” Luis Enrique said. “I return to the national team to finish the project that I started.”
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us