Three favourites for the Spain job should Luis Enrique leave after World Cup exit

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) will be having intense conversations over the next week following their shock World Cup exit, not least with manager Luis Enrique.

The Asturian manager is out of contract after the World Cup, and has been detailed within hours of their defeat to Morocco, many feel it is unlikely the RFEF will renew his deal when they speak next week.

Cadena SER say that former Athletic Club, Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia manager Marcelino Garcia Toral is the favourite to take over. Most recently in the Basque Country, he finished eighth and tenth in his season-and-a-half, won a Spanish Supercup, and finished as runner-up in two Copa del Rey finals. Most famously, he took Valencia to Copa del Rey victory over Barcelona in 2019.

Another candidate might be his replacement at Athletic, Ernesto Valverde. According to, RFEF President Luis Rubiales is reportedly a fan of Valverde’s work. Athletic currently sit fourth in La Liga and Valverde took over from Luis Enrique to great success at Barcelona in 2017.

Under-21 boss Luis de la Fuente is another candidate for the position. After Euro 2016, Julen Lopetegui was given the position having been under-21 manager previously, although he had left to manage Porto too. De la Fuente has been in the position for four years and also took the Olympic side to a silver medal last summer.

De la Fuente would be a bold choice for a nation demanding success rather than bringing through the next generation, while Valverde would have to be persuaded to leave his position midday through a season, something that would be unusual for him. Marcelino would also bring a fast-paced pressing style, which may go down well with the public.

Tags 2022 World Cup Ernesto Valverde Luis de la Fuente Luis Enrique Marcelino Garcia Toral Spain La Roja
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