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Spain: Robert Moreno will step aside if Luis Enrique wants to return to national team job

If Luis Enrique wishes to return to his old coaching job with Spain, his successor and former assistant Robert Moreno would gladly move to one side.

Spain: Robert Moreno will step aside if Luis Enrique wants to return to national team job
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

Robert Moreno says he would be happy to step aside if Luis Enrique wants to return to the role of Spain head coach. Moreno took charge when Luis Enrique left the position in June, a decision attributed at the time to "family reasons" by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

Door is always open, say RFEF

It was confirmed last week that the former Barcelona coach's daughter Xana had passed away after a five-month battle with bone cancer. RFEF chief Luis Rubiales said the door would always be open to Luis Enrique if he decided he wanted to go back, and Moreno would have no hesitation in moving aside.

"It's a very recent situation and we're not going to talk about that," Moreno told reporters when asked about the news from last week. "I consider Luis a friend and friendship comes ahead of everything else. If one day he wants to return, I will be happy to step aside and work with him."

All LaLiga matches held a minute's silence in memory of Xana last weekend and the Spain squad staged their own tribute at training on Monday.

Luis Enrique

Right-hand man

Moreno worked alongside Luis Enrique at Barcelona, Roma and Celta de Vigo before joining his backroom staff when he took charge of Spain in 2018. He hopes positive results against Romania and Faroe Islands in Euro 2020 qualifying this week can bring at least some positivity to what has been a tough few days. "It has been a difficult week," he said. "We'll try to give some tiny joy away from a very bad moment. It's the only thing we can do."

There is uncertainty over who will start in goal against Romania on Thursday, with Kepa Arrizabalaga having usurped David de Gea as the number-one choice in Spain's past three matches. De Gea committed another error in Manchester United's shock home defeat to Crystal Palace last month, casting further doubt over his chances of winning back his spot in the national team. Moreno, though, says there is no problem in rotating goalkeepers and is happy to see competition within the team.

Well covered in goal

"I think the competition is good," he said. "I don't think there is a fixed goalkeeper here. The important thing is that they are first-team choices in their teams. We then analyse our opponent and see who plays. At Barça, we won a treble [in 2015] with [Marc-André] Ter Stegen and [Claudio] Bravo both playing."