Robert Moreno has said in a statement following his departure from the Spanish national team: “I have a clear conscience. It is impossible to please everyone.”
Luis Enrique stepped down from the role of Spain boss earlier this year to look after his terminally ill daughter, who tragically then passed away – with Moreno replacing him in the hotseat.
Moreno guided Spain to the European Championships next summer with an unbeaten record – seven wins from nine games – but has now been relieved of his duties by the Spanish FA.
“After what happened in these last days and after the agreement reached on Tuesday November 19, I feel the need to make a statement to thank those who have supported me during these months and to say goodbye to the position of national coach,” Moreno said, as cited by Marca.
“Faced with an extreme situation like the one we lived in Malta, I had to assume the leadership of our team. The objective of qualification entrusted to me has been achieved comfortably.
“I wish this situation had never occurred. Now we would be qualified for the finals regardless. Assessing the last hours in office or even the last days, would only serve to enter a spiral of reproaches and justifications for those involved.
“I am not going to do it. I don't see any sense. I have a clear conscience. It is impossible to please everyone, but I sincerely tell you that I respect all opinions.
“I have always maintained that I am a man of my word, which would not be an impediment in the event that Luis Enrique decided to return to the team.
“I have done so even though it has meant my departure. I wish him well because his joy will be our joy.
“Thanks to all the players for their dedication and performance in all matches and in training sessions. I have tried to be fair, honest and direct with them. I wanted to help them develop their task on the pitch in the best possible way.
“I want to emphasize that it would not have been possible for me to develop this task without Luis Enrique, Rafel, Joaquín and Jesús. I am not leaving behind work colleagues, who I leave behind are friends.
“Without forgetting all those behind the scenes, very important people in a team and who are never sufficiently recognised.
“I have felt the affection of the people and I can only say thank you. Thanks to the hundreds of strangers who have come to cheer me up and congratulate me. I carry you forever in my heart.
“I thank all the members of the Royal Spanish Football Federation for the treatment I have received during my stay in the national team. I have felt loved and respected.
“And finally, a special mention to the media for the treatment you have given me at all times. You have been very insightful in all press conferences. I have tried to be respectful to everyone and I have tried to work while be kind and sincere.
“I hope you value me for what I have done, not for who I am. It is what I have tried to do in this role with the players in each squad.
“I don't want to stop apologizing to anyone who feels offended for not giving the last press conference. Circumstances prevented me from doing so.
“My experience as an first-team Coach began and ended in the same way, with a bittersweet taste. I have to look forward and face new challenges as a Coach in my passion, football. I am prepared to face the challenge of leading new projects.”
Moreno – previous number two at Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona – is said to be very well-liked within La Roja’s squad but has repeatedly said he would step down should Enrique feel he could return to the role.
Enrique was appointed national team boss following Spain's exit from the 2018 World Cup in the last 16.
He was in charge for the Nations League, where Spain failed to reach the semi-finals, and remained in place for the beginning of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
However, he temporarily stopped taking charge of matches from March this year before officially stepping down three months later.