Luis Enrique had a mammoth World Cup match against to plan, manage and assess on Sunday, but it will likely have been dwarfed by a far more important date.
On the morning of the game, Luis Enrique put up a video of himself cycling, wishing his sadly departed daughter Xana happy birthday.
El video de Luis Enrique recordando a su hija Xana, quien hoy cumpliría 13 años 🥺💔 pic.twitter.com/nF0lUFAX6E
— Mati (@matiasm_02) November 27, 2022
Xana passed away at the age of 9 from bone cancer, before which Luis Enrique decided to step back from the national team. The reason was not covered out of respect to Luis Enrique and his family. After the Germany match though, he was asked by a German reporter about his video message.
“It has been a special day for me and my family. My family and I have tried to live with this naturally for a long time. Although she is not with us physically, we keep her very present on a daily basis and we laugh and think about how she would act in many situations to many things that happen.”
👏 Un día especial para Luis Enrique. pic.twitter.com/nfy4iSDV9Q
— Relevo (@relevo) November 27, 2022
“This is life, it’s not all about good things and looking for happiness, but also knowing how to manage these moments.”
His emotional and mental fortitude to do so speaks to the enormous strength of character of the Spain manager, which he shows on a daily basis. It also puts the football world into perspective, even if at times it seems like the chief matter of importance.