Inaki Saez has resigned as manager of Spain after their exit after the group stage of Euro 2004.

Saez initially said he stay in charge and lead Spain’s campaign to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

But, after meeting with the Spanish football federation on Friday, Saez has stood down.

“I have given the reasons for taking a decision which I will not go back on, which is to stop training the national side,” said Saez.

The favourite to take over from Saez is Mallorca’s Luis Aragones, a veteran coach with 30 years’ experience.

He has twice turned down offers to coach the national side because he did not consider it the right time.