Luis Enrique will remain Spain coach: RFEF sporting director Jose Molina

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Madrid, May 18 (IANS) Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) sporting director Jose Molina insisted Luis Enrique’s job is safe, despite the fact that the national team coach will not be with his Spain side for the forthcoming European Championship qualifying ties against the Faroe Islands and Sweden.

Luis Enrique was absent from Friday lunchtime’s squad announcement, and Molina confirmed he would not be at the training camp or at Spain’s next two matches, Xinhua news agency reported.

The coach’s absence follows on from his having to return to Spain from Malta ahead of the side’s last international game because of unspecified family reasons.

When asked about Enrique’s future, Molina said the RFEF hoped “to have Enrique as coach for a long time. He has our support and that of his coaching staff.”

“At no time have we considered that Luis Enrique could leave the national team. His commitment and ours is complete and we hope he remains with us for a long time,” said Molina, who refused to put a date on the coach’s return to the dugout.

“There is no cut-off date and we have not set any time limit,” he confirmed.

The other big news related to the squad is the return of Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla to the international scene for the first time since 2015. Cazorla has had four years in which he struggled with an ankle injury which nearly ended his career, but his form with Villarreal this season has earned him a popular recall.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Pau Lopez

Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Mario Hermoso, Diego Llorente, Inigo Martinez, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Jose Gaya, Jesus Navas

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Rodrigo Hernandez, Dani Parejo, Isco, Fabian Ruiz, Santi Cazorla

Forwards: Mikel Oyarzabal, Rodrigo Moreno, Marco Asensio, Iago Aspas, Alvaro Morata

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