RFEF not guilty of mishandling Luis Enrique return, insists Rubiales

By Sports Desk November 19, 2019

Luis Rubiales does not believe the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is guilty of mis-handling Luis Enrique's return to the role of Spain coach, despite Robert Moreno reportedly being upset at how the situation has been managed.

Rubiales confirmed on Tuesday that Luis Enrique will return as coach and lead Spain at Euro 2020.

The former Barcelona coach began a leave of absence in March and officially resigned in June as his young daughter, Xana, battled bone cancer. She died in August.

Moreno took over and won each of his three matches while overseeing the team in a caretaker capacity and recorded a further four wins and two draws after assuming the position on a permanent basis.

He will reportedly not return to his previous role as Luis Enrique's assistant and is said to have left the Wanda Metropolitano in tears after Monday's emphatic 5-0 victory over Romania.

Rubiales, however, is adamant no blame should be laid at the feet of the RFEF.

"It was clear that in the moment that Luis Enrique felt strong to return, the door was always open for him," Rubiales told a media conference. "I have always said that, and have always been honest, nobody can feel tricked.

"We want to thank Robert Moreno for his work, he did very well, and we are very happy with what he did. But Robert Moreno told us he'd spoken with Luis Enrique, who had told him he wanted to return. We found out through Moreno that Luis Enrique wanted to return.

"We knew Luis Enrique wanted to return but [sporting director Jose Francisco] Molina and I decided not to say anything until after the qualification phase was done.

"On Sunday, Molina spoke with Robert Moreno, and Robert Moreno said he wanted to know now what is going to happen. Molina told him to wait, but if Luis Enrique wants to return to his job we will consider it.

"On Monday, we received a message from Robert Moreno, who said he would not stand in the way of Luis Enrique returning.

"The first person who knew that Luis Enrique wanted to return, even before us at the federation, was Robert Moreno.

"We have always acted with respect and transparency. And we have kept our word. The federation has acted coherently with everyone. We are loyal to Luis Enrique and the person who occupied his job.

"Luis Enrique stepped down for the worst possible thing that can happen in a family. He has always been the leader of our project and has a contract until the [2022] World Cup in Qatar.

"We had a meeting set up with Robert Moreno at 10:00 (9:00 GMT) this morning. But he did not come, just two lawyers. If he decided not to talk to the press yesterday [following the Romania game], we must respect that.

"I believe we have acted - on all levels, with humility - I cannot find any mistake. If there was one I would apologise, but we have been very honest."

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