Spain’s World Cup campaign descended into chaos just two days before their opening game with Portugal, as Lopetegui was fired as a result of agreeing to join Real Madrid after the event.
Fernando Hierro, Spain’s director of football at the time, stepped in to take the reins over the course of the tournament, as La Roja were eliminated in the last 16 by Russia in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.
Luis Enrique did not do too badly in his last job: pic.twitter.com/YpHEZKs2Ac
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 9, 2018
Hierro left his post as coach and subsequently resigned from his role as director of football as well, leaving RFEF president Luis Rubiales with significant planning to do.
It emerged on Sunday that Rubiales was to put forward Lopetegui’s successor to the RFEF’s board on Monday and, shortly after doing so, Luis Enrique’s appointment was made official.
Earlier, former Spain goalkeeper Jose Molina was announced as the RFEF’s new sporting director , succeeding Hierro.
Molina, who was capped nine times by his country, enjoyed a long career in Spanish football with the likes of Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna – winning La Liga with the latter two.
The 47-year-old has tried his hand at coaching, most recently working for Kitchee in Hong-Kong, India’s ATK Kolkata and Atletico San Luis of Mexico, getting sacked by the latter in February.
Molina was a team-mate of RFEF president Luis Rubiales at Levante towards the end of his career and will likely work closely with the new coach, expected to be confirmed as Luis Enrique later on Monday.