Spain coach Luis Enrique said his thoughts were with his late daughter Xana on what would have been her 13th birthday, after his side’s 1-1 World Cup draw with Germany on Sunday.
Xana died from bone cancer in 2019, aged nine, during a period in which Luis Enrique stood down from the Spain job before later returning.
The coach paid tribute to her on the morning of the game with a video on social media and said he was coping with what happened naturally.
“It was a special day for my family, for a while we have thought about living through this as a natural part of life,” said Luis Enrique.
“We don’t physically have our daughter, but we think about her a lot.
“That is how life works. It is not just happiness, but also knowing how to manage these moments.”
Luis Enrique left his post in June 2019, with Xana passing away in August, before the coach returned to the helm of the Spain team in November 2019.
He took Spain to the semifinals of Euro 2020 and after two games his team are top of Group E at the World Cup, needing a point from their last game against Japan to progress.
Despite conceding a late goal against Germany that stopped them virtually sealing qualification for the last 16, the coach was content.
“In the end we have to think about the position that we have in this moment,” said Luis Enrique.
“We are top of the classification in the ‘group of death’ and we have to be happy.”