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Luis Enrique reigns in Spain

Former Barcelona coach succeeds Julen Lopetegui.

Luis Enrique has been named as the new coach of Spain.

The Spanish federation (RFEF) has announced the former Barcelona boss will be the full-time successor to Julen Lopetegui.

Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup last month after accepting a post at Real Madrid.

Fernando Hierro, previously the RFEF’s sporting director, took over on a temporary basis for the tournament but has not continued following Spain’s disappointing showing in Russia.

Enrique, 48, who won two LaLiga titles and the Champions League in charge of Barca, has signed a two-year contract with no escape clause.

Roberto Martinez, the former Wigan and Everton manager who has guided Belgium to the World Cup semi-finals, had also been linked with the job, as had Michel and Quique Sanchez Flores.

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Roberto Martinez had been linked with the Spain job (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The RFEF, however, says nobody else was in consideration.

Speaking at a press conference widely covered in the Spanish media, RFEF president Luis Rubiales said: “We have not spoken to anybody else – only Luis Enrique.”

Enrique has been out of the game since stepping down at the Nou Camp a year ago. His previous coaching experience includes spells at Roma and Celta Vigo while as a player he won 62 caps for Spain and featured at three World Cups. He also won Olympic gold in 1992.

A formal unveiling is likely to take place next week.

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Luis Enrique was a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2015 (Mike Egerton/PA)

Rubiales said: “We know that Luis Enrique is a person of character. We want the internal environment to be the best.”

The news of Enrique’s appointment comes swiftly after that of Jose Francisco Molina as the federation’s new sporting director.

Hierro had decided not to return to the post following the World Cup. Spain were eliminated at the last-16 stage on penalties by host nation Russia.

Molina, 47, a former goalkeeper with Atletico Madrid, Deportivo La Coruna and Villarreal, earned nine Spain caps as a player.

Rubiales has also confirmed the Spanish Super Cup between Barcelona and Sevilla will be a one-off game on August 12. Tangier, Morocco, is the preferred venue, subject to international approval.

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