'special day' | 

Spain boss Luis Enrique pays tribute to late daughter amid World Cup bid

The Spain manager’s daughter would have been turning 13 yesterday, the day his team played Germany in the World Cup.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 23: Luis Enrique, Head coach of Spain before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Spain and Costa Rica at Al Janoub Stadium on November 23, 2022 in the Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Spain manager Luis Enrique (52) shared a heart breaking birthday tribute to his late daughter yesterday, just hours before his team took on Germany in the World Cup.

Xana tragically passed away in 2019 at the age of nine following a five-month battle with osteosarcoma, a rare from of bone cancer.

His little girl would have been 13 years old yesterday.

The former Barcelona boss shared his thoughts on Instagram in a touching tribute, on what was an important day for him and his team.

"Today is a special day. Not only because we play Germany, but also because my daughter Xana would be turning 13 years old,” he said.

"My love, wherever you are, we love you."

In the post to his social media account he made to document the World Cup, he said: “We remember her a lot, we laugh and think about how she would act in each situation that we experience.”

He captioned the video, filmed on his morning bike ride: “We miss you!”

In 2019, he stepped down as Spain manager before later returning, now managing the team in their bid to take home the World Cup.

They drew with Germany yesterday, with their next game to be played against Japan on Thursday.

Spain will advance to round 16 only if they win this week’s match.

Following the game, Enrique said: “This is how life works...it's not only about beautiful things and finding happiness, it's about knowing how to manage these moments.”

A number of shock upsets have kept the competition exciting, most notably the Belgian loss to Morocco that turned the streets of Brussels into a riot zone on Sunday.

Current odds on who will win the World Cup outright place high hopes on France, Brazil, Spain or Germany and keep options open for a win by Portugal, Argentina, the Netherlands.

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