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Luis Enrique's time as Spain boss is at an end
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World Cup: Luis Enrique departs as Spain look to the future

Spain's exit from the World Cup at the last-16 stage of the competition has seen manager Luis Enrique's time with La Roja come to an end.

With Spain Under-21s coach Luis de la Fuente being tipped to take over the role, here's a look back at Enrique's tenure and what to expect for the proposed new man in charge.

End of the line for Enrique

Having taken on the role as national coach in 2018, Enrique's reign has come to an end after a penalty-shootout defeat at the hands of Morocco in the last 16.

A disappointing end for a Spain side that started the World Cup so brilliantly with a thrilling 7-0 victory over Costa Rica at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.

The 2010 world champions never managed to get back to that level of performance, as they played out a 1-1 stalemate with Germany before a shock 2-1 defeat with Japan.

At one stage, when Costa Rica were ahead against Germany in their final game, it looked like Spain would join the Germans in crashing out in the group stages.

In the end, Spain managed to scrape through to the knockouts and would have fancied their chances of reaching the quarter-finals as they prepared to face the Moroccans.

Spain's youthful side had chances to put away Morocco in their knockout game at Education City Stadium but again it was the heartbreak of a penalty shootout that ended their hopes of progression.

Just two days after Spain's exit from the major tournament, it was confirmed Enrique was no longer the head coach.

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A tenure of what if?

Looking back on Enrique's time with Spain it certainly looks like a tenure of what might have been for the former Barcelona manager.

Enrique guided Spain to the semi-finals of the European Championships last summer, only to lose to eventual winners Italy on penalties.

Those dreaded shootouts were cruel ways to exit the last two major tournaments but some will suggest Spain should have been more clinical during regular time to avoid such lotteries.

Enrique will now take stock and assess his potential next challenge. Most likely back in club football.

Having guided Barcelona to the Champions League and two La Liga titles during his tenure at the Camp Nou, there should be no shortage of potential suitors for the 52-year-old.

Enrique has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past and perhaps the English top flight could be a destination for the former midfielder down the line.

Serie A is also another possibility, after he previously had a spell in Italy with Roma which came to a premature end after missing out on the qualification for any European competition.

Enrique might feel he has unfinished business in Italy.

De la Fuente set to take charge

Having been part of the Spain set-up since 2013, De La Fuente looks like a natural choice to make the step up to the main role.

Given the Spanish first-team is going through a transition phase with many young players coming through, De la Fuente looks to be a smart choice.

Having coached Spain's youth teams, the former Athletic Bilbao and Alaves manager will have worked previously with many of the players who have now broken into the senior side.

The familiarity should provide a solid foundation, as Spain turn their attentions to the future and the European Championships in Germany in 2024.

Spain are 15/2 To Win Outright Euro 2024, with hosts Germany the 5/1 favourites despite crashing out in the group stages of this winter's World Cup.

The 2018 world champions France are 13/2 to lift the trophy on German soil, while England are available at 7/1 to be crowned champions after finishing as runners-up at Euro 2020.

Having been one of the dominant forces in world football between 2008 and 2012, Spain have not been able to replace the stars who took them to the top.

The likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Fernando Torres and David Villa were always going to be difficult to replace once they hung up their boots.

Now it's up to De la Fuente to try and take Spain's new generation to that next level and start challenging for silverware once again.

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