Luis Enrique has returned to the role of Spain coach and will lead the 2010 world champions at Euro 2020.

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

Robert Moreno replaced Luis Enrique 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 stepping into the position on a permanent basis.

However, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales confirmed on Tuesday that Luis Enrique will re-assume charge of the two-time European champions, and rejected any talk of the governing body mismanaging the situation.

"On Sunday [RFEF sports director Jose Francisco] Molina spoke with Robert Moreno, and Robert Moreno said he wanted to know now what is going to happen. Molina told him to wait until after games, but if Luis Enrique wants to return to his job we will consider it," Rubiales said.

"On Monday, we received a message from Robert Moreno, who said he would not stand in 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."

Moreno, who will not resume his former role as an assistant, reportedly left the Wanda Metropolitano in tears following Monday's convincing 5-0 victory over Romania, officially his sixth game as head coach.

Ahead of the Romania match, Spain's final qualifying fixture, he reportedly learned of the RFEF's plans to replace him and is said to have been upset with the handling of Luis Enrique's return.

Moreno skipped the usual post-match media conference, which was reportedly his own decision.

In September, Moreno said of Luis Enrique: "If one day he wants to return, I will be happy to step aside and work with him."

Ex-Celta and Girona head coach Juan Carlos Unzue is instead expected to take over as assistant as the team builds towards Euro 2020.

Roberto Mancini is unsure if rivals are worried about Italy ahead of Euro 2020, but feels they may prefer to avoid playing his side at the tournament.

Italy completed a perfect qualifying campaign in Group J with a 9-1 demolition of Armenia in Palermo on Monday.

While their impressive performances are sure to see them considered among the favourites at next year's showpiece tournament, Mancini feels other nations are ahead of Italy in their growth.

"I don't know if they are worried or not," the Italy coach told a news conference.

"I think they are stronger because they are one step ahead with their plan. France started some years ago, they reached a Euro final and won the World Cup. They are young and I think they are one of the strongest teams. Spain the same.

"Belgium in the last five, six years produced a lot of outstanding talents. Then England.

"All those teams stared earlier. Italy has a great history. I don't think other teams will face Italy easily.

"Maybe they are not scared, buy if they could choose would face another opponent instead of Italy."

Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo scored braces against Armenia, while Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli, Jorginho, Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa were also on the scoresheet.

Mancini praised his players for their improvement and hopes there is more to come from Italy at Euro 2020.

"These are all young lads who are improving game by game. Playing at international level brings experience, they've got the quality, it's just a matter of time," he told Rai Sport.

"We’ll see what happens at Euro 2020. We'd never won all 10 games in a qualifying group, we've got six months to prepare for the championship and unfortunately I will have to leave some behind, as I can only bring 23 players.

"If we can continue like this, that would be great."

The draw for the final tournament will be held on November 30.

Gareth Southgate plans to stay on as England manager for the 2022 World Cup if he feels there is "warmth" for him to continue, though he acknowledged that could depend on his side's performance at Euro 2020.

England secured their place at next year's finals with a 7-0 rout of Montenegro last week, before rounding off their qualification campaign in style by beating Kosovo 4-0.

After reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, the last four of the UEFA Nations League and qualifying for Euro 2020 comfortably at the top of Group A, Southgate conceded his side will now be singled out as one of the teams to beat in the tournament.

And the former Middlesbrough manager is aware how his position could change should England fail to impress next year.

"When you have a week like I've had, you sense that people can fall out of love with you and if there isn't a warmth for you to continue, then that can start to affect the team," Southgate, who dropped Raheem Sterling from his squad for the clash with Montenegro after the Manchester City forward's tussle with team-mate Joe Gomez, told reporters.

"So, I'm realistic about how quickly those tides can turn. For me, it's about what's next and I know in the end we'll always be judged ultimately by the tournaments.

"We've got to accept that [England are one of the favourites]. We should go in feeling confident about ourselves and, equally, we know there are areas of the game we've got to get better at. But I think all the top teams will feel the same.

"The players have the belief and we've got to keep giving them that belief, but we don't tell them lies, we are pretty honest with our appraisals of their performances and the sorts of matches they're going in to."

Southgate, however, will still be planning, even if he is uncertain as to whether he will lead England at the Qatar World Cup.

"I think when I started and we looked at other federations, we were almost embarrassed to go and look at where we should be preparing for," Southgate explained.

"And Germany were always there and they'd already secured the best hotel. So, I think we've had to be a bit bolder and say, 'no, look, it's not a jinx to go and do it'. We've got to have belief in what we're doing and execute the right preparation.

"Without taking any focus off what we're doing next summer we've got to get the next bit right, otherwise we'll be behind the curve. I think the best organisations get that short-, mid- and long-term planning right."

Mick McCarthy remains confident his Republic of Ireland squad can book a place at Euro 2020 despite missing out on automatic qualification.

Ireland were held to a 1-1 draw in Monday's must-win qualifier against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium to finish third in Group D, three points behind their opponents.

Matt Doherty headed home five minutes from time to cancel out Martin Braithwaite's 73rd-minute opener, but McCarthy's men must settle for a play-off spot.

A one-legged semi-final and final will be played in March and McCarthy believes his side are in with a shot, provided they replicate their performance against Denmark.

"We can beat anyone in the play-offs," he told Sky Sports. 

"The players will go back to their clubs and we don't have a game until March. I'll be getting round them and reminding them it has been a good campaign and that we can play like that, so why not play like that in March."

Ireland lost only one of their eight qualifiers - a 2-0 reverse to Switzerland last month - and McCarthy was full of praise for his players after the draw with the Danes in Dublin.

"I am immensely proud of them," he said. "They pushed Denmark right to the limit. If my players and my team leave everything on the pitch, I will take the result as it comes so I will have to take this.

"You just need that bit of luck. We had opportunities but I am not going to criticise the lads because they've been brilliant. We lost one game out of eight so I'm very proud of them."

Denmark are now unbeaten in 17 qualifying matches since October 2016 and can look forward to next year's tournament, having failed to qualify last time around.

Age Hareide's men managed just two attempts on target against Ireland, however, and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel admitted his side were "terrible".

"It was dramatic enough," he told Sky Sports. "There wasn't a lot of quality from both sides - it was a cagey and tight affair.

"We were terrible. We didn't hit anything we tried to today and we had to rely on our grit and determination. We needed it today as we were under a lot of pressure."

Denmark have faced Ireland six times since 2017 and have not lost any of those meetings, but Schmeichel feels the hosts are improving.

"This is the best Ireland have been against us," Schmeichel added. "We had to ride our luck at times, but you need that when you're fighting for qualification."

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has called a news conference for Tuesday amid reports Luis Enrique will replace Robert Moreno as Spain coach.

Moreno did not address the media after a 5-0 victory over Romania at the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday rounded off a successful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

The RFEF subsequently announced president Luis Rubiales and sporting director Jose Francisco Molina would speak to journalists at 12:30 local time (11:30 GMT) on Tuesday.

Former assistant Moreno took temporary charge of Spain in March when coach Luis Enrique went on a leave of absence after his daughter Xana was diagnosed with bone cancer. She passed away in August.

After the former Barcelona boss confirmed his decision to permanently vacate his role in June, Moreno was appointed as his successor, going on to guide Spain to four wins and two draws as they qualified for Euro 2020 by finishing top in Group F.

The RFEF are now reportedly expected to confirm Luis Enrique's return, while it remains to be seen whether Moreno will stay on as part of Spain's backroom staff.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales said the door would always be open to Luis Enrique if he decided he wanted to return, while Moreno confirmed in September that he would be happy to step aside.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has called a news conference for Tuesday amid reports Luis Enrique will replace Robert Moreno as Spain coach.

Switzerland booked their spot at Euro 2020 after cruising to a 6-1 win over Gibraltar at Victoria Stadium on Monday.

Their nervy 1-0 win over Georgia on Friday kept them top of Group D ahead of the final round of fixtures and they never looked in danger of relinquishing that position with a dominant display.

Cedric Itten – who scored the winner against Georgia – set them on their way after 10 minutes, with Ruben Vargas and Christian Fassnacht adding further goals after the interval.

The hosts pulled one back through Reece Styche in the 74th minute – just their third goal of the qualifying campaign – but Switzerland reasserted their superiority through Loris Benito, a second goal from Itten and a late strike from Granit Xhaka.

The result meant Vladimir Petkovic's side finished top of Group D on 17 points – one point ahead of Denmark, who also qualified for next year's tournament after a 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland.

Denmark booked a place at the Euro 2020 finals at Republic of Ireland's expense following a 1-1 draw in Monday's crucial qualifier in Dublin.

Three sides were battling for two automatic qualification spots heading into the final round of Group D fixtures, with Switzerland - 6-1 winners in Gibraltar - going on to claim top spot.

Ireland required victory to have a shot at finishing above their opponents in second and they set up a grandstand finale when Matt Doherty cancelled out Martin Braithwaite's opener late on.

However, there was to be no dramatic winner for Mick McCarthy's men in the closing minutes, meaning they must settle for a place in next year's play-offs.

Roberto Mancini's rampant Italy broke more records as they maintained their 100 per cent points return in Euro 2020 qualifying with a 9-1 thrashing of Armenia in Palermo.

The Azzurri had long since booked their place in next year's finals and last week defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina for a 10th consecutive win for the first time in their history.

There was no slowing Italy in their final Group J game, though, as they turned on the style to end the campaign with 10 victories from 10.

An 11th straight win in all saw seven different Italy goalscorers in a match for the first time, as Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo each netted twice.

Zaniolo, debutant Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa all notched their first goals for their country, with Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli and Jorginho also on target in a stunning success.

Spain wrapped up their successful Euro 2020 qualification campaign in style with a rampant 5-0 victory over Romania in Madrid.

Robert Moreno's side already had qualification and top spot in Group F secured heading into their final fixture and followed up a 7-0 demolition of Malta with another dominant display at the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday.

With the excellent Santi Cazorla having already hit the crossbar, Fabian Ruiz opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Gerard Moreno's double then put Spain out of sight.

Adrian Rus' own goal completed the first-half scoring, with substitute Mikel Oyarzabal picking out the bottom-left corner in the 91st minute to complete the rout.

Jose Gaya's foul saw the hosts have a goal disallowed in the fifth minute, before Cazorla rattled the bar with a brilliant strike from 18 yards.

Spain's dominance swiftly paid dividends, though - Fabian calmly side-footing home his first international goal after Ciprian Tatarusanu failed to hold Dani Carvajal's effort.

Romania would have been level if not for Kepa Arrizabalaga's save from George Puscas, and Spain made their goalkeeper's work count when Gerard headed in from Cazorla's exquisite first-time cross.

Cazorla was involved again when Gerard doubled his tally, playing a neat pass into Gaya, who crossed for the Villarreal forward to tuck in.

There was still time for Romania's first half to get worse - Rus diverting Gerard's cutback beyond Tatarusanu in the 45th minute.

Sergio Ramos looked set to make it 5-0 shortly after the break, only for Spain's captain to volley over from close range.

Alvaro Morata seemed to have been forced wide moments later but managed to dig out an effort that clipped away off the post in the 55th minute.

Spain's efforts to get a fifth were finally rewarded in stoppage time – Oyarzabal unleashing a crisp strike on the turn to round off La Roja's qualification in fitting fashion.

 

What does it mean? Sparkling Spain look in good shape

Moreno has picked up seamlessly where former coach Luis Enrique left off and - after a dismal World Cup campaign - Spain, with a rejuvenated squad, are sure to be contenders for the top prize next year.

Evergreen Cazorla shines bright

Cazorla's resurgence for Spain is a wonderful story and at this rate the midfielder - who will be 35 by the time the finals roll around - could well be one of Spain's chief creators at Euro 2020.

The former Arsenal playmaker was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring early on, before teeing up Spain's second with a delightful cross and playing a key part in La Roja's third.

Hapless Romania ravaged at the back

Romania's capital Bucharest is a host city for Euro 2020, but unless Cosmin Contra's side display more resilience in defence than they did on Monday, they will have little hope of making it through the play-offs.

What's next?

While Spain will begin preparations for Euro 2020 with friendlies in March, Romania will discover their play-off opponents on Friday.

Eden Hazard believes Belgium will head to Euro 2020 stronger than ever and must improve on their third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup.

Roberto Martinez's side have a 100 per cent record after nine games in qualifying for the European Championship and will seek to finish their campaign with a maximum 30 points against Cyprus on Tuesday.

The Red Devils finished third in last year's World Cup and lead the FIFA rankings, and Hazard thinks they are better equipped for their next major tournament.

"We have two years more experience than at the World Cup, two more years with the coach," said Real Madrid star Hazard.

"We know each other better, we have young players … I think we are stronger. We have developed the winning mentality that we didn't have enough at Euro 2016 and the World Cup.

"But if we end up fourth in the European Championship then we will be less strong." 

Belgium have already been touted as potential Euro 2020 winners and Hazard says they deserve to be considered in that category.

"We are among the favourites, for sure," added Hazard. 

"But we are not alone. France, Italy, Spain, England are also serious opponents." 

Joachim Low does not believe Germany can be considered the favourites to win Euro 2020, claiming England, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium are all ahead of his side.

Germany booked their place at next year's finals with a 4-0 win over Belarus on Saturday.

Their qualification follows a disappointing 2018 World Cup, when the defending champions slumped out in the group stage, and only avoiding relegation in the Nations League due to the competition being restructured.

Germany's squad has undergone a reshuffle over the past year, with Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller no longer considered for selection, while Mesut Ozil retired from international football, alleging discrimination and disrespect by the German Football Association.

Low's side have won six out of seven qualifiers for Euro 2020, scoring 24 goals in the process, but the coach believes other sides are ahead in terms of their development heading into the tournament.

"I think, we can be satisfied with the year," Low told a news conference ahead of Tuesday's final qualifier against Northern Ireland.

"When it comes to the development as a whole, there are surely other nations who are ahead of us. England, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium - those teams had been forced into a big transformation before, because during the last big tournaments, like England for example, they exited early a few times.

"Therefore, those teams have been playing together for three, four years now. The same goes for Netherlands, who have had a well-adjusted team for three, four years.

"That's not the case for us at the moment, which is why I don't see us as the favourites for this tournament. But one thing is for sure, that we'll try everything, prepare well and that we want to reach the maximum during the tournament."

Low is still largely undecided on the squad he will be selecting for Euro 2020, with two likely candidates - Niklas Sule and Leroy Sane - currently out with long-term injuries.

"No idea. I don't know what it'll be next year," Low said.

"Yesterday some of the injured players were here with us. But then there are more players like Sule and Sane who are doing rehab, where we don't know how they're going to be.

"It's also important for me, in what shape players are in January, February or March. And then during the months to follow, who's able to play, who's in a good rhythm. There are certainly a couple of decisions which I can't answer today."

Gareth Bale believes the euphoric feeling of Wales' run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016 will spur Ryan Giggs' side on against Hungary.

Following a 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Saturday, Wales head into their final qualifying match knowing a win will be enough to secure a place at Euro 2020.

Bale scored three goals at the previous finals as Wales - with Chris Coleman in charge - reached the last four in France, going out to eventual champions Portugal.

The Real Madrid forward has claimed Wales can use the experiences gained from three years ago, plus their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, as inspiration heading into Tuesday's crucial clash in Cardiff.

"I think we can use both of [the experiences] to our advantage," Bale told a news conference.

"We have got the kind of euphoria of qualifying for our first Euros and doing so well at the competition that we really want to do that again.

"We've also got the negatives of knowing how it feels to miss out on qualifying for a tournament like we did with the World Cup.

"We can see how we don't want to feel after the game. We know prior to this game we can push and push not to feel like that again, because it's not a feeling you want in the dressing room after the game.

"The experience of qualifying for the Euros was massive and something I've never done before and to do it again might be a bit more impressive.

"It's going to stand in equal stead as last time, but we can't think about that just yet. We have another important match first and we have to focus on that as a team and a squad."

Giggs confirmed on Monday that Bale and Aaron Ramsey, who has been hampered by a thigh problem, are both ready to start against Hungary.

"I'm ready. I hadn't played in four weeks so it was important to get 60 minutes into my legs and get some match sharpness," Bale added.

"We spoke at the start of the week about trying to get 60 minutes and hopefully being a couple [of goals] up before I came off, so it worked out well, no problems, and I'm ready to go for Tuesday."

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are ready to start for Wales in Tuesday's crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary, manager Ryan Giggs has confirmed.

Real Madrid forward Bale made his first appearance in a month in the 2-0 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday, a result that kept alive Wales' hopes of qualifying automatically for next year's tournament.

Bale, who has been struggling with a calf injury, was replaced in the second half by Juventus midfielder Ramsey, who has been hampered by recent thigh trouble.

Giggs expects to be able to have both players in the starting line-up for the first time in their qualifying campaign when they face Hungary in Cardiff, a match in which the winners will secure a place at the Euro 2020 finals.

"We've got a few players who played 90 minutes for the first time against Azerbaijan, so it is important they get the recovery in over the next few days," Giggs said on Monday.

"The lads who got minutes needed minutes. It's a bit of a balancing act, the players I know who can't play 90 minutes - that will obviously influence the selection.

"Yeah, [Bale and Ramsey] are both ready to start. Gareth and Aaron, with Chris Mepham and Ethan Ampadu, all players who haven't had an awful lot of football, got the minutes they needed.

"We were able to get Gareth off and it was important to get Aaron on the pitch. Everyone in the squad is available to start."

Giggs has challenged his players to capitalise on the good fortunate of Croatia's win over Slovakia on Saturday.

The World Cup finalists came from a goal down to win 3-1 and book their own place at Euro 2020, while also ensuring Wales and Hungary have their fates in their own hands.

"We had the high of winning the game but when Slovakia go ahead you are fearing the worst, but Croatia are fantastic at home," Giggs said.

"They showed their quality. We needed favours and we got those favours. Now it is time for us to capitalise.

"It's in our hands. It's a great, exciting challenge for us but we need to finish the job – it will be a very, very difficult game."

Toni Kroos believes Germany will have a better idea if they can compete for Euro 2020 glory after next March's international matches.

Joachim Low's side secured their place at next year's finals with a 4-0 win over Belarus on Saturday, in which Real Madrid star Kroos scored twice.

The midfielder said after the game that Germany could not consider themselves among the favourites to take Portugal's continental crown next year, given the lack of experience of some of their players.

However, speaking ahead of Tuesday's final qualifier against Northern Ireland, in which a win will ensure Germany finish top of Group C, Kroos claimed they will have a clearer idea of their ability to challenge after the first international break of next year.

"It's no surprise that we want to win the game. Of course, the chance to finish first in the group is a bit of extra motivation," he told reporters on Monday.

"We've got some good players who have had some minutes. In terms of a grade, I'd put the year between a B and a C, because it's nothing special that we've qualified.

"Several of the younger players have improved already. We've made some progress. The international games in March will be important again as we play against big nations.

"We'll have to wait and see how we perform at the Euros, but I have a good feeling about it."

Kroos partnered Joshua Kimmich at the heart of Germany's midfield in the win over Belarus and believes the Bayern Munich star can make a success of such a role for the national team in future.

"Jo can do both: he can make life difficult for our opponents and he's able to make smart decisions with the ball. The fact that we work well together wasn't a surprise to me," he said.

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