Luis Enrique asked Spain players to take 1,000 penalties each ahead of Qatar World Cup

Luis Enrique

Spain coach Luis Enrique had revealed that he gave his squad the homework of taking 1,000 penalties before the World Cup ahead of his side’s penalty shootout loss to Morocco on Tuesday.

The Spain manager revealed on Monday that had instructed his team over a year ago to practise spot kicks ahead of their trip to Qatar after watching his side lose to Italy via penalties in the semi-finals of Euro 2020.

“I imagine that they have done their homework,” the Spain manager said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Morocco.

“Over a year ago, in one of the Spain camps, I told them they had to get here with at least 1,000 penalties taken. If you wait until getting here to practise penalties… [it won’t be enough].

“It’s a moment of maximum tension, a time to show your nerve and that you can shoot the penalty in the way you have decided if you have trained it a thousand times. It says a lot about each player.

“It’s trainable, manageable, how you manage the tension. It’s increasingly less luck – the goalkeepers have more influence.”

However, Enrique’s instruction made little difference as Spain were beaten by Morocco, with Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all failing to score their spot kicks.

The loss to Morocco was the fourth time Spain have been knocked out of the World Cup on penalties and the second in a row.

Speaking after the game, Enrique insisted that his side were the better side throughout the match.

“We completely dominated the match. It’s a shame it went that way,” Enrique told TVE via Sportsmail.

“It’s the most difficult thing, playing against a team like Morocco who are hard workers.

“The penalties cost us, but I am very proud of the team and all the players. I am very sorry about the result, but I congratulate Morocco.”