Sergio Ramos told Luis Enrique each Spain victory will still be his after the former Barcelona coach stepped down from his role as national team boss.

Having been absent from the Spain camp since March due to personal reasons, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Wednesday that Luis Enrique has called time on his spell at the helm.

Robert Moreno had overseen the three fixtures Luis Enrique missed, and the former assistant will now remain in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

Spain captain Ramos – who had previously insisted the squad were fully behind Luis Enrique's decision to remain away from the camp – offered his full backing to his former coach.

"Every victory of the national team will also be yours, coach," Ramos wrote on his official Twitter account. "All our support and our encouragement."

Barca – Luis Enrique's most recent employers at club level – also offered their encouragement on Twitter.

"Sending you all of our love and respect, Luis," they wrote.

Robert Moreno has been appointed as Spain's permanent head coach after Luis Enrique stepped down from the role.

The 41-year-old has already overseen three Euro 2020 qualifiers – all of which were wins – while Luis Enrique was absent due to a family emergency and has now been handed the reins on a full-time basis.

During Wednesday's news conference, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales confirmed Moreno will be in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

But who is Moreno and how did someone with such little pedigree as a head coach come to arrive in Spanish football's most senior role?

 

EARLY CAREER

Rather than the traditional route of going from the pitch to the dugout, Moreno, born in Barcelona in 1977, started out as a coach at a young age.

Moreno worked his way up through the coaching ranks at a local level in Catalonia, plying his trade at several teams including Damm, a youth club famed for its development of young players.

Nurturing youth players set him up nicely for a role at Barcelona B, where he met Luis Enrique.

 

LUIS ENRIQUE LINK

Moreno soon struck up an effective working relationship with Luis Enrique, so much so he joined the head coach in moving to Roma in 2011, serving as assistant.

Things did not go to plan for the pair in Serie A, however, leaving after one season having failed to secure European qualification.

But they were back together in Spain at Celta Vigo in 2013, the same year Moreno's book 'My Recipe of 4-4-2' – including a prologue written by Luis Enrique – was published.

Luis Enrique's star as a coach rose in Vigo and he earned a return to Barcelona in 2014, again taking Moreno with him.

A stunning start to life back at Camp Nou saw Barca claim a treble in 2014-15 and, although they did not maintain those lofty standards, Luis Enrique's reputation was enhanced by the time he departed at the end of his contract in 2017.

Moreno returned to Celta Vigo to assist Juan Carlos Unzue – a former Barca colleague – as Luis Enrique sat out the 2017-18 season, yet the Spain call came after the World Cup.

 

SPAIN JOB

Moreno continued to work under Luis Enrique throughout Spain's Nations League campaign, where impressive victories over England and Croatia were followed by defeats to the same two sides.

However, when international football returned earlier this year, a family emergency meant Luis Enrique was absent following the opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Norway.

Moreno was left in charge and guided Spain to a 2-0 win over Malta on what he called the "worst day" of his career, as he got a taste of the big job because of his friend's family emergency.

He reprised the role again earlier this month with Luis Enrique still on leave. Spain defeated Faroe Islands 4-1 and Sweden 3-0.

The long-time assistant insisted he was eager to have Luis Enrique back available for the next fixtures in September, yet the latter has now called time on his career with Spain.

Moreno said on Wednesday: "It's a bittersweet day. I didn't expect to be the head coach this way. We are going to try to continue the high-level work that Luis started."

Robert Moreno has been named as the permanent Spain head coach, with Luis Enrique stepping away due to personal reasons.

Former assistant coach Moreno oversaw Spain's past three matches after Luis Enrique was granted leave following a family emergency in March and will remain in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

Moreno and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) were keen to see the former Barcelona boss return for the next international break in September.

However, it was confirmed on Wednesday that Moreno will take on the job on a full-time basis in the latest coaching change for La Roja.

"Luis Enrique has informed us that he will not continue as coach. I have to thank him, he has behaved with the RFEF in a '10' manner, we do not have the slightest rebuke. Our doors will always be open to him," said RFEF president Luis Rubiales.

"The decision of the RFEF is to trust Robert Moreno as the coach. He will continue on the same duration of the contract that was already signed. He will be in charge of taking us to Euro 2020 and of doing a good job if we qualify."

Moreno said: "I want to thank you [the RFEF] for placing your trust in us. It's a bittersweet day.

"I didn't expect to be the head coach this way. We are going to try to continue the high-level work that Luis started.

"I've been involved in football for many years, and since I was 14 years old I've thought about reaching the highest level. But I did not expect it this way, and Luis has agreed and supported us."

Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui on the eve of last year's World Cup after he agreed a deal with Real Madrid, before Luis Enrique came in for Fernando Hierro following an underwhelming tournament in Russia.

The three-time European champions finished second behind England in their Nations League group but have since won their opening four Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Serbia sacked head coach Mladen Krstajic following their humiliating loss to Ukraine in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Despite boasting Real Madrid recruit Luka Jovic and Ajax star Dusan Tadic, Serbia were routed 5-0 by Ukraine in Lviv on June 7 as pressure increased on Krstajic.

Serbia eased past Lithuania 4-1 on Monday but that was not enough to save Krstajic, with the country third and six points adrift of leaders Ukraine in Euro 2020 Group B qualifying.

"The FSS executive board and coach Mladen Krstajic have terminated cooperation by mutual consent and a decision will be made in the forthcoming period who will take over," the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) said in a statement on Thursday.

"We thank Krstajic for his efforts and especially on his Nations League accomplishments. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours."

Krstajic – who earned 59 international caps for Serbia – oversaw the nation's 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia, where they made a group-stage exit.

After replacing Slavoljub Muslin in 2017, Krstajic guided Serbia to top spot in Group 4 of the Nations League League C with four wins and two draws.

However, criticism over the 45-year-old's tactics and a slow start to Euro 2020 qualifying cost Krstajic his job.

Former Northern Ireland captain Aaron Hughes has retired from professional football.

The 39-year-old defender did not play as Michael O'Neill's side won 1-0 away to Belarus in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

Hughes has made 112 appearances for his country, more than any other outfield player and behind only goalkeeper Pat Jennings.

The former Newcastle United and Fulham centre-back has not publicly announced his decision but told his international team-mates after Paddy McNair's goal secured victory in Borisov.

"Aaron spoke to us after the game and he was a little bit emotional, which is understandable," said Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis.

"He has been a huge player for us over many years, such a consistent performer, and he will be remembered as a proper legend.

"Aaron still looks as if he could play on for a couple more years, but if he has made a decision to retire, we've got to respect that and wish him well."

Hughes left Scottish side Hearts last month having only made one league start in the 2018-19 season.

Northern Ireland have a perfect record after four qualifiers, with O'Neill's men facing Germany and Netherlands in their next two competitive outings, in September and October.

Kylian Mbappe said "now is not the time to talk about Real Madrid" after leading France past Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Mbappe has been linked with LaLiga giants Madrid – talk of a potential move to the Santiago Bernabeu intensifying after the Paris Saint-Germain star hinted he could be ready for a "new project".

However, Mbappe was not in the mood to discuss Madrid following France's 4-0 rout of Andorra on Tuesday.

"Now is not the time to talk about Real Madrid," Mbappe told reporters post-game.

"You always ask me the same thing, but it's not the time."

Mbappe scored in France's comprehensive victory to take his career tally to 100 goals for club and country.

The 20-year-old broke the deadlock in the 11th minute after racing clear and lifting a delicate finish over the onrushing Josep Gomes.

In his 180 senior games, Mbappe has netted 87 times in all competitions across two seasons each with Monaco and Ligue 1 champions PSG, with Tuesday's goal his 13th on the international stage.

Ryan Giggs admitted he has faced "a juggling act" in trying to find an effective role for Gareth Bale in his Wales side after watching the Real Madrid forward struggle in a 1-0 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat against Hungary.

Bale missed Wales' best opportunity of the game, firing tamely at Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi when the ball arrived at his feet 12 yards from goal, and Mate Patkai punished his wastefulness by scoring the winner 10 minutes from time.

After opting to play Dan James as a lone striker while Bale started on the left wing, Giggs said the forward's morale was not a problem during training despite the 29-year-old having endured a difficult season in LaLiga.

"He is disappointed like all of us with the two games," Giggs told reporters when asked about Bale.

"I have said before, in the training camp he was great, about the place he has been great. It's difficult fitness wise having not played for a long time and then that short turnaround.

"The way he plays as well, those high-intensity sprints. It's difficult. But he's been fine around the place, no problem.

"It's always a bit of a juggling act trying to find where Gareth can be effective. We have so many players who can play off the right or number 10.

"Gareth has shown over the last few years he can play up front, number 10, off the right. It's my job to try and get his best position and to get the other players in their best positions as well."

The defeat was Wales' second in four days and left them second-bottom of Euro 2020 qualifying Group E after three games played, and Giggs acknowledged his side face a struggle to get their campaign back on track in their remaining five matches.

Group E strugglers Azerbaijan are Wales' next opponents on September 6, by which time Giggs will hope his squad is in better shape.

Having seen his side lose 2-1 in Croatia three days before their reverse in Hungary, Giggs said: "We've had two tough away games five weeks after the season finished, and you saw it in both games - a lot of the players were short of match fitness and we're asking miracles of our players.

"Ethan [Ampadu] has not really played, I did well to get 50 minutes out of him. Brooksy [David Brooks] was the same. Asking Gareth [Bale] to play two games in a short space of time with the way he plays after not playing for six weeks.

"But still, we had enough chances to win the games. It's tough, not enough of our players were at peak fitness but we have to probably win nearly every game now.

"We've made it really difficult for ourselves and we're probably relying on other teams to drop points, which they will do, because it's a competitive group.

"But obviously we have to start winning, if not win all of the games, then the majority of them."

Manchester City star Leroy Sane shut down questions about Bayern Munich's interest in him while on international duty with Germany and offered a cryptic response over where his future lies.

Sane scored Germany's final goal in Tuesday's 8-0 Euro 2020 qualifying demolition of Estonia in Mainz, impressing throughout in attack.

The winger had an indifferent season at club level with Premier League champions City, scoring a respectable 10 goals, but only starting 21 matches, six fewer than the 2017-18 campaign.

Sane subsequently emerged as a primary target for Bayern, whose rebuild job will continue in the close-season after the departures of long-serving duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Bayern have rued City's "insane" valuation of the winger, though Sane failed to commit to Pep Guardiola's side post-match.

When asked about the Bayern speculation, Sane told reporters: "I'm going on holiday now. Everything else will be seen.

"That's it with the questions about Bayern Munich."

Sane, 23, has been at City since 2016, when they reportedly paid Bundesliga outfit Schalke an initial £37million.

France coach Didier Deschamps has hailed his side's response to their defeat to Turkey after they hammered Andorra 4-0 on Tuesday.

Kylian Mbappe scored his 100th career goal as Les Bleus returned to the top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group H, with Turkey – who beat Deschamps' side 2-0 on Saturday – losing 2-1 to Iceland.

Andorra were never likely to present much of a threat, but France showed few signs of complacency, with Wissam Ben Yedder and Florian Thauvin putting the result beyond doubt before half-time after Mbappe's delightful chip had opened the scoring in the 11th minute.

Kurt Zouma helped himself to a simple tap in on the hour, either side of Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe squandering gilt-edged chances to add more to France's tally.

And Deschamps, who criticised all of France's outfield players for their performances in Turkey, had no complaints about his side's display this time around.

"There was a lot of application even if we would have liked a few more goals," Deschamps told French television reporters.

"I saw great attitude and a lot of commitment and seriousness.

"We had to adapt very quickly. The group reacted well after a poor match. It sounds simple today but we did very well, we played with a lot of quality and I think that the players enjoyed playing together.

"The players did well. Now we have nine points, and we are going to go after all the points that are possible to get.

"These three points are just as much worth as in other games. Now the players go on holiday with a good feeling, and they need it, because we continue in September."

France lead the way at the top of Group H, though they are level on points with Turkey and Iceland with three games played.

Les Bleus' next outing is against Albania on September 7, before they host Andorra three days later.

Michael O'Neill hopes Northern Ireland's 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying has cranked up the pressure on Group C rivals Netherlands.

Northern Ireland made it four wins from four games on Tuesday, leaving it late to beat Belarus 1-0 at the Borisov Arena.

O'Neill – whose side overcame Estonia at the weekend thanks to two late goals – had Paddy McNair to thank for another maximum points haul on the road, the Middlesbrough man opening his international account four minutes from time.

The result means Northern Ireland remain three points ahead of second-place Germany, who have a game in hand, and nine above beaten Nations League finalists Netherlands, who have played two fewer games.

They still have to face both of those sides twice and O'Neill says he was determined to build up a sizeable lead over Ronald Koeman's side while they were in Nations League action.

"We have created a points gap between ourselves and Netherlands, who have been in the Nations League," he told Sky Sports. "Hopefully they'll play under more pressure. That was the objective."

Northern Ireland host Germany at Windsor Park on September 9 and O'Neill believes his side are capable to springing an upset against a side who thumped Estonia 8-0 on Tuesday.

"They have to go in and believe they can win the game, it's as simple as that," he said of his players. "With the belief, the energy and the home crowd, we're capable.

"The next indication of progress of this team is to take a big scalp and we have two of the biggest scalps coming to Belfast in the next few months."

Northern Ireland struggled for long periods against Belarus but O'Neill was quick to rein in expectations, stating that his side are unlikely to ever register the kind of dominant wins more illustrious teams are capable of.

"People think games like these are formalities but they're not for teams like us," he said. "We're not going to come here and win 3-0 like Germany or Netherlands might be able to."

Mate Patkai dealt Wales' Euro 2020 qualification hopes a huge blow with a late winner for Hungary as Ryan Giggs' men lost 1-0 in Budapest, just three days after suffering a narrow defeat in Croatia.

Patkai's strike compounded a torrid evening for Gareth Bale after he missed Wales' best opportunity of the game when Tom Lawrence's cross landed at his feet 12 yards from goal, the Real Madrid forward firing tamely at Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

Giggs deployed Dan James as a lone striker in the first-half in Budapest and the 21-year-old outshone Bale with his incisive runs, but neither man could force a breakthrough before Patkai pounced on a loose ball after Jamie Lawrence and Ben Davies were outmuscled by Adam Szalai at a high ball.

The result leaves Wales second bottom in Group E with three points from three matches, while Hungary are top, three points clear of Slovakia, having won three of their opening four matches.

Marco Reus and Serge Gnabry starred with two goals apiece as Germany hammered Estonia 8-0 in Mainz on Tuesday to maintain their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying.

Coach Joachim Low was absent again – having also missed the win over Belarus – due to an injury sustained in a "sporting accident" last month, but Estonia were so poor his unavailability was barely noticed in an emphatic win led by Reus and Gnabry.

The Borussia Dortmund star opened the scoring early on and also got Germany's spectacular fifth, with Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and Ilkay Gundogan netting in between. 

After scoring five in the first half for the first time since thrashing Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup, they appeared to ease off a little in the second 45, though Gnabry got himself a second, before Timo Werner and Leroy Sane rounded things off.

Germany remain three points behind Group C leaders Northern Ireland, who have played a game more.

Germany began with a swagger and carved Estonia open 10 minutes in, as Thilo Kehrer played a low first-time cross into the box from the right and Reus found the roof of the net.

Gnabry converted soon after with an easy close-range finish from Sane's squared pass, and Goretzka got in on the act with 20 minutes played, meeting Joshua Kimmich's lofted delivery with a glancing header into the bottom-left corner.

Joonas Tamm impeded Goretzka's off-the-ball run in the box a few moments later to concede a penalty, which Gundogan confidently dispatched.

And Reus made it 5-0 close to half-time – his gorgeous 30-yard free-kick finding the top-right corner.

After something of a lull, Germany resumed the battering and increased the deficit just past the hour, with Gnabry tapping in from Marcel Halstenburg's low delivery.

Werner – introduced for Reus in the 66th minute – beat the approaching Sergei Lepmets with a clever chip towards the end, and Sane rounded wrapped things up with a curling finish despite appearing to stray offside.

 

What does it mean? Professional Germany at their brutal best

A lot of questions have been asked of Germany in the last year, with the World Cup post-mortem seeing many players ditched. With fresh faces and lots of youth, Die Mannschaft are looking like themselves again.

Estonia were never likely to pose much of a threat, but it is three wins from three games now in Euro 2020 qualifying and their ruthlessness in Mainz is worthy of praise itself.


Rolls-Reus effortlessly leads the line

The central figure of Germany's attacking trident, Reus swiftly made his mark with a poacher's effort for the first. His hold-up and link play were strong, as he knitted attacks together, while the free-kick for his second goal was glorious.


A nightmare for Tamm

Germany attacked relentlessly and Tamm – one of Estonia's three centre-backs – struggled to cope. He did not help himself for the penalty, however, needlessly inviting Goretzka to go to ground.


What's next?

Germany face Netherlands when they return to Euro 2020 qualifying in September, with Low expected to be back on the touchline. Estonia will be hoping to end their run of defeats when they host Belarus in three months' time.

Northern Ireland left it late to maintain their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying with a narrow 1-0 win over Belarus on Tuesday.

Michael O'Neill's side won their first three Group C games – including a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture in March – but looked like they would be leaving the Borisov Arena with just a point after a disjointed display.

But, having secured a late turnaround to overcome Estonia at the weekend, they did the same again in Barysaw, Paddy McNair sparking wild celebrations among the travelling support with a fine finish four minutes from time.

The win means O'Neill's men remain at the summit of their group, three points ahead of Germany, who have a game in hand.

Kylian Mbappe scored his 100th career goal as France bounced back from their defeat in Turkey by hammering Andorra 4-0 in Euro 2020 qualifying Group H.

France made the trip south of the border on the back of slumping to just their second defeat since March 2018, but made light work of Andorra on Tuesday.

Mbappe's deft chip got things started early on, with maiden international goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Florian Thauvin putting France 3-0 up by half-time.

Kurt Zouma got in on the act midway through the second half as – with Turkey losing 2-1 to Iceland – France moved back to the top of Group H in style.

France wasted little time in taking the initiative, racing ahead inside 11 minutes when Antoine Griezmann played a perfectly weighted pass into Mbappe, who made no mistake with a sublime lob into the right-hand corner.

Ben Yedder had drilled into the side netting prior to Mbappe's opener, but found the target in the 30th minute, with Josep Gomes unable to keep the Sevilla striker's first-time effort out.

France had another in first-half injury-time – Mbappe lifting a wonderful cross to the back post where Thauvin was on hand to finish acrobatically.

Griezmann should have made it four after the restart, but directed a tame header straight at Gomes, before Thauvin turned another delightful Mbappe delivery wide.

Zouma showed no such profligacy on the hour, bundling home at the second attempt after his initial header had been saved.

Mbappe should have made it five with a close-range header in stoppage time, though his miss did little to raise Andorra's spirits as they slumped to a fourth successive defeat without scoring.


What does it mean? Les Bleus back on track

Saturday's defeat to Turkey served as a stark reminder for France that they could not cruise through qualifying.

Didier Deschamps' side were never likely to struggle against Andorra, but showed no complacency in a comprehensive performance that more than made up for their dismal display in Turkey.


Century up for Mbappe

Mbappe struggled against Turkey, but he capped another spectacular season off in style this time out, reaching the milestone of 100 career goals in just his 180th appearance at senior level. 


Griezmann fails to get in on the act

Griezmann teed up Mbappe's opener, but lacked his usual confidence in front of goal, failing to connect properly with a strike in the opening stages, as well as missing a golden chance to get himself on the scoresheet early in the second half.


What's next?

France host Albania on September 7 in their fifth qualifier, while Andorra travel to Turkey.

Germany scored five goals in the first half of a game for the first time since crushing Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup during Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia.

Joachim Low's side stunned world football when they beat tournament hosts Brazil at the Mineirao to secure a spot in the final five years ago, eventually going on to lift the trophy.

Things have not always been plain sailing since, as they disappointed as defending champions at last year's World Cup, but they look to be getting back to their best, with Tuesday's game evidence of that.

Marco Reus got Die Mannschaft off to a fine start with an easy finish in the 10th minute, and that was soon followed by a similarly straightforward goal courtesy of Serge Gnabry.

It was 3-0 with 20 minutes played – Leon Goretzka finding the bottom-left corner with a glancing header, and an Ilkay Gundogan penalty extended the advantage.

Reus got his second late in the half with a gorgeous 30-yard free-kick which found the top-right corner, capping a remarkable display in the opening 45 minutes.

Victory will see Germany continue their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying.

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