The 2010 World Cup winners clinched first place in Group B on a tense night at the Estadio de La Cartuja with Alvaro Morata’s winning goal against Sweden confirming their passage.
However, despite Spain not always showing their free flowing best in either game against Janne Andersson’s side in qualifying, their grittiness has become a hallmark of Enrique’s style.
The experienced coach return to his position in 2019 and he led Spain to a semi final place at Euro 2020 last summer but he admitted criticism is never far away.
“I have taken off a 100 kilo backpack. I have felt more pressure in this qualifying phase than in the Euros or the ‘Final Four’ of the Nations League”, as per reports from Mundo Deportivo.
“I have taken a great weight off my shoulders.
“I am focused on having a good World Cup and I know that if a coach does not win, he receives criticism.
“This is how this wonderful circus of football can be and I accept it.
“When there is salsa, we dance salsa. And when it’s time to dance pegaditos, we do that.
“What really motivates me is seeing the response of the players and of all the people who are part of the Federation.”
Spain will learn their group stage opponents for the competition in April as they look to build on the strong showing from the European Championships.
Enrique is likely to keep the core of his squad together for their journey to the Middle East with Barcelona’s emerging crop of young talent set to form the backbone of his plans.
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