Luis Enrique, who gave 'homework' of 1000 penalties, trolled after Morocco knock Spain out of World Cup 2022
Spain coach Luis Enrique had set each player the “homework” of practising 1,000 penalties ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022, yet La Roja scored zero in their shootout against Morocco in their round of 16 clash.
Spain's FIFA World Cup 2022 elimination came after an evening of riveting drama in Doha's Education City, to the beat of thumping drums and shrieking whistles. If it is possible to control a football game without ever having possession, Morocco has just demonstrated how. The Atlas Lions waited in their half for 120 minutes and invited Luis Enrique's Spain to come and win this match.
Devoid of the creativity and complexity of the past, Spain could not pull it off. In actuality, they were unable to approach at all. The statistics from the extra time showed that the 2010 champions had 77% of the play but only one shot on goal to show for it. And when the game boiled down to the penalty shootout, La Roja succumbed to the pressure, while Morocco maintained their composure.
Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler, and Sergio Busquets all missed their 12-yard attempts in the penalty shootout for Spain, while Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Spanish-born Hakimi scored for Morocco. The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star's game-winning Paneka and goalkeeper Yassine Bounou's heroics fired Morocco to the historic quarter-finals. They will now face the winner of Portugal vs Switzerland clash.
What's ironic for Spain is that just a day before, coach Luis Enrique had revealed that he set each of his players the "homework" of practising 1,000 penalties ahead of the showpiece event, saying he is convinced they are not a lottery. Spain beat Switzerland on penalties at the Euro 2020 but was eliminated on spot-kicks by Italy in the semi-finals.
"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. I imagine that they have done their homework. If you wait until getting here to practise penalties... (it won't be enough)," revealed Enrique ahead of their clash against Morocco.
The Spaniard insisted spot kicks were "not a lottery". "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," he had remarked.
Unfortunately, Enrique's 'homework' didn't pay off, and none of the Spanish players found the back of the net from the 12 years spot, setting the jokes and meme factory rolling across social media platforms.
"Luis Enrique told his Spain side to practice 1,000 penalties before the World Cup. They scored zero in their shootout with Morocco," noted one fan on Twitter, while another added, "The magic number was 1005."
Here's a look at some of the memes, jokes and reactions on Twitter following Spain's elimination from Qatar World Cup 2022 after a 0-3 defeat to Morocco on penalties: