Luis Enrique has stepped down as Spain's national football team's manager to attend to 'serious personal reasons' with assistant manager Roberto Moreno being announced as his successor. President of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales announced Enrique's decision at a press conference on Wednesday, alongside sporting director Jose Francisco Molena.
Moreno had been part of Enrique's managerial setup at Celta Vigo, AS Roma and then FC Barcelona.
At the press conference to announce the change, Rubiales said, "Luis Enrique has informed us that he will not be able to continue as the manager. I wish to thank him for the work done. Alongside RFEF he has managed and led as a 'Number 10'. We stand with him united and the doors of RFEF are always open to him."
"RFEF has decided to keep its trust in Roberto Moreno as the new manager. He will remain in the job for the same duration of contract that was signed initially. They will be in charge of taking us to Euro 2020 and doing a good job if we qualify."
Moreno at the appointment said, "I want to thank for the trust that has been placed in us. It's a bittersweet day. I didn't expect to be the manager in this way. We will work to continue the top work that Luis started."
"I've been in football for many years. Since I was 14 years old, I have thought about reaching the highest level, but I didn't expect it to come this way. I'm fortunate that Luis has supported us."
Rubiales clarified that Enrique is not stepping down momentarily with Moreno in charge on a temporary basis. "Enrique has informed us that his time as a manager is over and that a new period with new coach begins. It's important that we're all clear."
Former Deportivo Alaves manager Abelardo Fernandez had emerged as another candidate for the job. But RFEF have opted to stick by Moreno.
The personal problem saw Enrique leave the Spanish camp and head home in March. In so doing, the former Barcelona manager missed their win against Malta. Ever since, Enrique has been unable to take charge of any coaching session with La Roja.
"As the reasons preventing me from carrying out my duties as national team coach since March continue today, I've decided to step down... I'd like to thank the staff and players for their professionalism. Not forgetting the media for your discretion and respect." pic.twitter.com/H5EIBoq9AP
" The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) June 19, 2019
Morano had taken charge of the wins against Malta, Faroe Islands and Sweden.
The Spanish FA, led by Rubiales, has been supportive of Enrique and his personal problems. He had reportedly advised Enrique not to take any rash decisions regarding the job.
Enrique was appointed as Spain's manager in July last year and had signed a two-year contract to replace interim-manager Fernando Hierro. The hot seat for the Spanish national team job had come under turbulence with Julen Lopetegui sacked on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Hierro came in as a replacement for the period of the tournament. Spain were sent packing in the knockout stages by hosts Russia in a disappointing campaign.