After Spain’ disappointing FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign where they lost twice and were eliminated after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Morocco, the Royal Spanish football federation(RFEF) decided to replace coach Luis Enrique with the current under-21 coach of Spain, Luis de la Fuente.
Also read: Did Ghana, Cameroon accept money from players to include them in World Cup squads?
RFEF issued a statement on December 8 where they announced Enrique’s resignation, thanked him for his services and mentioned that Fuente would replace him in the role. After tremendous success with tiki-taka mode of play that saw them win a World Cup and two UEFA Euro Cups in the span of four years (2008-12), Spain has been unsuccessful in bringing back its mojo, having failed to appear at a World Cup’s quarter-final since 2010.
Also read: Morocco vs Portugal: Head-to-head, stats, predicted line-ups, formations
Who is Luis de la Fuente?
Luis de la Fuente is a 61-year-old Spanish professional coach and a former footballer who is currently at the helm of the Spanish u-21 team. He was born on June 21, 1961, at Haro, Spain. He started his professional career as a defender for the youth team of Spanish club Athletic Bilbao.
Also read: Samuel Eto’o assaults supporter in Qatar, video goes viral
He made his La Liga debut in 1981 for Athletic Madrid and played on in the side for six years before shifting to Sevilla FC in 1987. In a playing career spanning 13 years, Fuente played in 254 matches and scored six goals. He started coaching at Club Portugalete and also found employment as a manager in alma mater Athletico Bilbao 2006.
Also read: Who is Antonio Mateu Lahoz?
After quitting Bilbao in 2011, Fuente was called up for national services, first to work as the coach of the Spanish national u-19 side, a task he fulfilled for five years from 2013-18 and then as the country’s under-21 coach from 2018. He also led the national side during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (delayed due to covi-19 and held in 2021) where Spain lost the finals to Brazil and went home with a silver medal.
Also read: Who is Walid Regragui, head coach of Morocco?
He is reported to take over the mantle of the Spanish national side on a permanent basis from coach Luis Enrique after Spain’s premature World Cup exit.