Former Spain striker Fernando Torres made his debut for Japan’s Sagan Tosu but it wasn’t the dream start he expected as his new side fell to a 1-0 defeat.
The 34-year-old made a shock move to Asia after ending his association with Atletico Madrid and despite coming off the bench, he failed to make an impression as Sagan Tosu lost 1-0 to Vegalta Sendai.
Watch our video below on Torres’ debut:
The 2010 champions were dumped out of the World Cup finals by hosts Russia in the last 16 earlier this month, but Enrique is convinced they they can return to the days when they reached the pinnacle of the international game and claimed back-to-back European Championship titles.
Speaking as he was formally unveiled at a press conference at the Spanish Football Federation’s headquarters on Thursday, the 48-year-old said: “I’m not a fan of the word failure, but the results haven’t been good. But we owe these players a lot.
“There won’t be a revolution but an evolution. There are players coming through who we need to give confidence and we have to be as fair as possible to everyone.”
Former Barcelona boss Enrique, who won 62 caps for Spain, has been handed the task of re-establishing the nation as a power following the departure of Julen Lopetegui for Real Madrid.
Lopetegui was shown the door on the eve of the World Cup finals after it was announced he was to take over at the Bernabeu Stadium after the tournament, and it was Fernando Hierro who took to the dug-out in Russia.
Asked what he could do to improve the situation he has inherited from the pair, Enrique replied: “The line that separates success from failure is very fine and they did an excellent job.
“Despite the players we have, we have now gone three major tournaments without winning and that shows how difficult it is to win one.
“We will look at all cases individually and analyse what is best for the future of the national team.”
Enrique’s appointment comes at a time when two of his country’s most reliable and successful players, defender Gerard Pique and midfielder Andres Iniesta, are to step away from international football.
Pique announced in 2016 that this year’s World Cup finals would be his last tournament, while 34-year-old Iniesta has indicated he has played his final game for Spain as he prepares to head for Japan and a new phase in his club career.
Asked if he would attempt to persuade Pique to change his mind, the manager replied: “He’s already stated his position in that respect. We have to look at all cases individually.
“Pique has demonstrated his performance levels and I’d like to have everyone available, but we have to look at each player and respect their decisions. We’ll see.”
On former Barcelona superstar Iniesta, he added: “He has been like a little brother to me. I played alongside him and I coached him.
“If he has made the decision, it has to be respected. He is embarking on a new adventure and I understand him.”
In the meantime, Enrique will concentrate on his own adventure, one of which he admits he has long dreamed.
He said: “As a coach, I have always said that I would like to be in charge of the national side.”
Iran’s Sardar Azmoun has quit international football at the age of 23 after claiming the insults directed at him have impacted his ill mother.
The Rubin Kazan striker completed 90 minutes in each of Iran’s three World Cup games but has now opted to retire, citing the abuse he has received and the effect it has had on his family.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Azmoun wrote: “It was a great honour for me to play in my national team, and I am proud of myself till the end of my life.
“Unfortunately, with all the interest I have, and contrary to the will of my heart, I decided to say goodbye to the national team of my country.”
He added: “There are some things in life that will speak first to you. My mother had overcome a serious illness and I was happy, but unfortunately because of the unkindness of some people – and the insults that me and my team-mates in no way deserved – her illness has become severe.
“This has put me in a difficult position where I must pick one or the other, and as a result I pick my mother.”
قهرمانی هر کشوری آرزوی تک تک بازیکنانش هست، همه تلاش من و هم تیمی هایم صعود و پیروزی تیم کشور عزیزمون بود اما با تمام تلاش های بی دریغ ما و دعاهای میلیونها ایرانی تقدیر با ما یار نبود. بازی در تیم ملی کشورم برای من افتخار بزرگی بود و تا آخر عمرم به خودم میبالم، متاسفانه با همه علاقه ای که دارم و برخلاف میل باطنی و خواسته قلبیم تصمیم گرفتم که از تیم ملی کشورم خداحافظی کنم این برای یک جوان ۲۳ساله که با سختی ها و مشقت های زیادی به اینجا رسیده قطعا دردناک ترین تصمیم و اتفاق زندگیش خواهد بود توی زندگی یه چیزهایی هست که حرف اول رو میزنه،با توجه به اینکه مادرم بیماری سختی رو پشت سر گذاشته بود و من خوشحال بودم متاسفانه الان بخاطر نامهربانی و قدرنشناسی عده ای و توهین هایی که به هیچ وجه حق من و هم تیمی هایم نیست، بیماریش تشدید شده، این مسئله من رو بین دوراهی سختی برای انتخاب قرار داده، در نتیجه من مادرم رو انتخاب می کنم. بیائید همدیگه رو قضاوت نکنیم و از روی ظاهر دیگران اونها رو مورد ارزیابی قرار ندیم،کسی چه میدونه که در پس خنده های من چه سختی های تلخی وجود داره؟؟؟!!! من برای سلامتی مادر علیرضا جهانبخش عزیزم که بیماری سختی رو پشت سر گذاشته و بهبودی حاصل شده آرزوی سلامتی دارم، تنها علیرضا بود که شاهد روزهای غم انگیز و تلخ دوران بیماری مادرم بود، ممنون رفیق ختم کلامم در تشکر از کیروش عزیز است،امیدوارم روزی تیم کشورم رو در قهرمانی جهان ببینم. از تمامی رسانه ها هم بخاطر لحظه لحظه های با ما بودنشون سپاسگزارم و قدردان محبت های تک تک هموطنانم هستم عشق فقط مادر با ارزوی سلامتی برای همه مادرها❤