Spain's Enrique imposes new rules, including cellphone ban

Judy Cobb
September 8, 2018

"We have a new coach and we start a new chapter with enthusiasm".

The 2010 World Cup winners play their first game under Enrique on Saturday away to England in their opening match of the Uefa Nations League before hosting Croatia - finalists in Russian Federation - on Tuesday.

"Luis Enrique lays down the law", read the front-page headline in sports daily Marca on Wednesday, with a new set of rules listed, including a ban on mobile phones, earlier bedtimes, fines for lateness, fewer days off and a streamlined training-ground buffet.

Spain begin a new era under Luis Enrique after a disappointing World Cup and the retirements of Gerard Pique, David Silva and Andres Iniesta. It was April 2016 and Luis Enrique was asked if he felt sorry for berating a journalist, who had been critical of Barcelona's fitness levels.

Aside from their history across the Madrid-Barcelona divide, the centre-half had been criticised for some of his conduct around a hard World Cup for Spain, one that saw Julen Lopetegui sacked on the eve of the tournament for agreeing to the job at the Bernabeu. "I feel important. I'm comfortable with the great players we have".

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The Three Lions and La Roja find themselves in the same group as World Cup finalists Croatia with the trio placed in League A, Group 4. We have a lot of ambition but we have to show it.

"He (Ramos) is the captain because he is the most capped player in our national team", Enrique said. "We want the world to fall in love with us again".

"A certain part of the press has tried to divide us because we are two people with a lot of character".

Real Madrid and Spain centre-back Sergio Ramos has insisted that his "conscience is really clear" over his clash with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah in last season's Champions League final. "I never wanted to hurt a colleague on the pitch, so my conscience is really clear about what I did that night". I know the English fans will give the receptions players deserve.

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