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Spain need Luis Enrique in charge, and here's why


Fernando Torres aiming to put Sagan Tosu on world football's map

Fernando Torres ends speculation of his next club as he announces he'll be joining J.League side Sagan Tosu.

The career of Fernando Torres has come full circle. The Spanish striker fell in love with football from reading the legendary Japanese comic "Captain Tsubasa." "I remember when I was a kid, we couldn't find the signal really well on TV, but everyone in school was talking about this cartoon about football, from Japan," Torres said back in 2012. "I started playing football because of this ... that was the first contact I had with Japan."

The last chapter of a football career that has seen spells with...

Top 10 'what ifs' of the 2018 World Cup: Messi's penalty vs. Iceland, Spain's Lopetegui decision

ESPN's Charlie Gibson puts a bow on Project Russia from a scintillating final, as France claimed World Cup glory.

This World Cup, as with any major tournament, has hinged on some pivotal moments. But what if they had gone the other way. Here are 10 "What if..." moments from the last month in Russia...

10. Harry Kane had scored against Croatia

In the end, there were a wide range of reasons for England's defeat to Croatia: Gareth Southgate's side not creating enough chances, inexplicably being outrun by a team who'd previously played two extra times, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. But in the first half, or...

Spain need Luis Enrique for his no-nonsense, high-risk approach

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti assesses Spain's decision to appoint Luis Enrique and the challenges he may face as an international manager.

Ask the majority of Spain's recent European Championship and World Cup winners what their seminal memory of La Roja playing international football was and it will be Mauro Tassotti trying to elbow the nose right off Luis Enrique's face at the Foxboro Stadium during the 1994 World Cup quarterfinal against Italy. For this wiry, tough, no-nonsense, detail-obsessed Treble-winner to be appointed Spain coach exactly 24 years later, to the day, is symbolic in the extreme.

Back then, Luis Enrique represented...

Spain's World Cup failure rooted in Julen Lopetegui's shock sacking

KRASNODAR, Russia -- Spain started as a victim of chaos and ended a victim of too much organization. In its way, Spain's 2018 World Cup fiasco will be as damaging as -- perhaps more than -- the embarrassments of Brazil four years ago and the 2016 European Championship in France.

The pandemonium of Spain's manager initially choosing to become Julen "Two Jobs" Lopetegui and then almost immediately being sacked did have its debilitating effects. Of course it did. But that chaos should not, under any...

Spain's media reacts to shock World Cup exit: a team 'without soul or joy'

Free-Kick: Iniesta bids farewell as hose curse strikes Spain, while Neymar and Lukaku hope to step up

There was shock and pain in the Spanish media Monday morning, as fans and pundits came to terms with their disappointing World Cup exit on penalties to Russia.

Amid lots of puns around the Spanish words pena (meaning a pity, a shame or a prison sentence) and penalty, there was also plenty of blame to go around, with a consensus that their tournament had been fatally undermined even before it began.


Walking home -- A Spain without pace, without depth, without soul or joy, with sterile domination,...

World Cup diaries: Watching Russia v Spain in the heart of Siberia

Fans celebrate Russia's winning penalty

12-43 a.m. in Irkutsk, in eastern Siberia. There's a wedding party on in the hotel, and the bar is full of celebrants at the end of a long weekend of festivities. Russian weddings typically start on a Friday and go on till Sunday, the ceremonies lubricated by litres of vodka.

The vodka's effects had surfaced through the penalty shootout, with cheers for each of Russia's converted kicks and for Koke's miss, and loud groans, accompanied by palms waved downwards in the universal expression of disgust,...