Although said before in Russia 2018 these words from Lionel Messi have never been more apt. “You have to show up in the World Cup, and in the World Cup anything can happen.”. In Argentina’s case this was certainly true when France brought an end to their involvement in this world cup. But the same could be said of Germany and Spain who also found the going tough and seemed unable to react and remain in the competition. With Joachim Loew deciding to remain as head and Argentina hopeful that Messi will continue to play for the national team. It seems that Spain may face the most turmoil. A continuation of the turmoil that started in Russia with the sudden departure of their manager, Lopetegui.
However, the subsequent performances of the Spanish team that has caused the most outrage and the players apparent lethargy under the stand-in manager, Fernando Hierro, that may prove the weakest link. In fairness former international and Real Madrid captain had the job thrust upon him under very difficult circumstances after travelling to Russia as an assistant. But football is unforgivably measured by results and so the early exit – albeit the last sixteen leaves may leave a few too many questions for Hierro to answer. So, there are names appearing in the press that could offer alternatives. One of them is former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique or another former Madrid player Michel – who has worked with Olympiacos in Greece and also in La Liga.
Clearly Hierro would not have be considered for the role of national manager in the normal course of events and would not have even viewed himself as a possible candidate – yet. But the truncated events however saw things develop rather differently and now see the novice manager emerge with his reputation not necessarily enhanced. His future career will lie elsewhere and stood down. Within days the Spanish Football Federation decided one Ex-Barcelona and Roma coach Luis Enrique has been appointed on a two-year contract. The 48-year-old former Spain midfielder has been out of management since leaving the Nou Camp last June.
Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said: "The decision was unanimous. I like his commitment and he has turned down better-paid jobs in order to coach Spain. "He's a coach who has all the requirements the federation was looking for."
Enrique, who played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, won the La Liga, Spanish Cup and Champions League treble as Barca manager in 2015. His first game in charge will be a Uefa Nations League game away to England at Wembley on 8 September, with Jose Francisco Molina, a former Spain keeper, as their sporting director.