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FIFA World Cup 2022: Spain coach Luis Enrique remembers late daughter on 'special day'

Spain celebrate during Germany draw in FIFA World Cup 2022 (Photo Credit: Vinod Divakaran/Inside Qatar)

Al Khor (Qatar) November 28: Spain coach Luis Enrique remembered his late daughter after his team's 1-1 draw with Germany at the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Sunday (November 27), labelling it a "special day".

Enrique said November 27 would have been the 13th birthday of his daughter, Xana Martínez, who died three years ago of a rare form of bone cancer.

"It was a special day for me and my family," Luis Enrique said.

"Obviously we don't have our daughter with us physically anymore, but she is still present every day. We remember her a lot, we laugh and think about how she would act in each situation that we experience."

Luis Enrique had earlier posted a video on Instagram in which he said that "not only we play against Germany today, but Xanita would have turned 13." He wished her "a good day" wherever she was right now.

"This is how life works," he said after the match. "It's not only about beautiful things and finding happiness, it's about knowing how to manage these moments."

FIFA World Cup 2022: Spain vs Germany Highlights: Germany stay alive with 1-1 draw against SpainFIFA World Cup 2022: Spain vs Germany Highlights: Germany stay alive with 1-1 draw against Spain

The 52-year-old Luis Enrique, a former Barcelona player and coach, is participating in his first World Cup as Spain's manager. He had left the national team in 2019 after finding out about his daughter's cancer.

Later that year, Enrique announced the death of his daughter, who battled cancer for five months. Enrique returned to the Spain head coach role a few months later in November 2019 to replace interim manager Roberto Moreno.

In his stint as Spain coach, Enrique has so far finished runners up in UEFA Nations League 2022/21 season. Before his role as Spain coach, Enrique had stints at Roma and Barcelona.

2010 champions Spain, who opened their group stage campaign with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica, will advance to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar if it avoids defeat against Japan in its final group-stage match on Thursday (December 1).

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Story first published: Monday, November 28, 2022, 9:32 [IST]
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