A number of Spain players paid tribute to Luis Enrique after he left his position as head coach on Thursday.
Spain were dumped out of the World Cup round of 16 on penalties by Morocco on Tuesday, a shock defeat that ultimately cost Luis Enrique his job.
The Royal Football Federation confirmed on Thursday it would not be renewing his contract, which expired at the end of the tournament, and later revealed Luis de la Fuente was set to take over the role having previously been in charge of Spain’s Under-21 side.
Luis Enrique’s former players showed their gratitude to him after the announcement, with Cesar Azpilicueta sending his best wishes on social media.
“We had all imagined another ending after months of work, passion, dedication and commitment,” Azpilicueta posted on Instagram.
“Thank you very much for the trust, Luis Enrique, and all the coaching staff I wish you the best in the future.”
Dolidos por la eliminación en el Mundial pero convencidos del trabajo hecho.
Gracias por todo mister, siempre agradecido por la confianza que me diste desde el primer momento y todos los consejos que me has dado. Os deseo lo mejor a ti y a tu staff! pic.twitter.com/c4NZSHny6u
— Eric Garcia Martret (@ericgm3) December 8, 2022
Gavi was given his Spain debut by Luis Enrique last year, becoming La Roja’s youngest ever player at just 17 years and 62 days old.
The Barcelona midfielder was another to send a message to his former head coach on Instagram, saying: “Thank you very much for betting and trusting me in the National Team, mister!
“I wish you luck and success in the future, you gave everything for the team and we will always be grateful to you!”
Pedri also enjoyed his maiden international outing under the stewardship of Luis Enrique and is one of the young stars that look to have given Spain a promising future, despite the disappointment in Qatar.
“Thank you very much for everything, Luis,” Pedri added on Instagram. “For your trust and support from the very beginning, and for always believing in and caring for this group.
“We haven’t gotten where we wanted in this World Cup, but I’m sure the future will bring you new successes.”