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Luis Enrique: Spain’s coach steps down after the World Cup exit and is replaced by Under-21 boss Luis de la Fuente | football news



Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique has left his post as Spain coach following the country‘s elimination from the World Cup.

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The RFEF issued a statement thanking Luis Enrique for his service and expressing his desire to start a new project for the national team, before announcing that the Spain Under-21 coach, Luis de la Fuente, will now take over the senior team. .

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Luis Enrique

Spain suffered a disappointing round of 16 elimination from the tournament in Qatar after losing to Morocco on penalties on Tuesday.

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Luis Enrique, whose contract expired at the end of the year, said after the match that he was to blame for the loss.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help more,” the outgoing coach said in a statement posted on Twitter and Instagram. “It was very special to be a part of this.”

Who is Luis de la Fuente?

Olympic Games in Tokyo

Luis de la Fuente may be an unknown to many, but not to some of Spain’s older players, having led many of them to a silver medal at the delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. He replaces Luis Enrique after spending the last nine years. as first coach in the youth formation of the Spanish team. The 61-year-old represented Spain up to under-23 level in a playing career that saw him spend time at Sevilla, Alavés and Athletic Bilbao. De la Fuente has not held a head coaching role since he was sacked by Alavés in 2011 after just three months in charge. His other coaching experience includes time in charge of Basque club Portugalete in the Spanish regional leagues, former Spanish third division club CD Aurrera de Vitoria and Athletic Bilbao’s B team.

He also thanked the fans and asked for their support for the new coach.

“What the team needs is support, in all its senses, so that Luis de la Fuente can achieve his goals.”

Luis Enrique

The 52-year-old had been in charge of Spain since 2018, and the RFEF issued a statement on Thursday indicating his contract would not be renewed.

The RFEF’s full statement read: “The RFEF would like to thank Luis Enrique and his entire coaching staff.

“The sports management of the RFEF has transferred to the president a report in which it is determined that a new project should be started for the Spanish team, with the aim of continuing with the growth achieved in recent years thanks to the work carried out by Luis Enrique and their collaborators.

Image: Spain was eliminated from the World Cup in the round of 16 by Morocco on penalties

Luis Rubiales

Both the president, Luis Rubiales, and the sports director, José Francisco Molina, have transmitted the decision to the coach.

The Asturian coach managed to give a new impetus to the team since his arrival, in 2018, through a profound renovation that has consolidated a generational change in the team and in Spanish football.

Luis qualified twice for the final four of the UEFA Nations League and reached the semifinals of Euro 2020, with his own stamp and through a defined style. He opted for young talent and has sown illusion in the future of the Spanish team.

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Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique will not renew his contract as Spain coach after the country’s elimination in the round of 16 of the World Cup.

European Under-19 Championship

“The RFEF strongly wishes Luis and his team the best of luck in their future professional endeavors. The coach earns the affection and admiration of his collaborators in the national team and of the entire federation, which will always be his home”.

De la Fuente oversaw Spain’s success at the European Under-19 Championship in 2015 and has been U21 boss since 2018, winning another Euro in 2019.

Their first matches will be the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Norway and Scotland next March.

Enrique: I’m sorry I can’t help more.

President Luis Rubiales

“On behalf of myself and my staff, it all started four years ago and how quickly time has passed. I can only be very grateful to those who named me twice. [President Luis Rubiales and sporting director Jose Molina].

“To all the RFEF employees with whom we have shared memories and experiences and, of course, to the players who have been exemplary in their behavior and faithful to our planned vision, I am sorry that I cannot help more.

Nuria Mart

Also to the support staff, doctors, physios, first aid kit, security and Nuria Martínez Navas. [the team manager of the national team], who worked tirelessly to help the players and the coaching staff in everything we needed. It has been very special to be a part of this.

“Last but not least, to the fans who have uniformly shown us their support at all times and especially in the most delicate ones. It’s time to say goodbye and in these cases just a little reflection… what the team needs is support. in all its sense so that [new coach] Luis de la Fuente achieves everything he sets out to do. Let’s go Spain! Until forever. Thank you.”

Will De la Fuente change the Spanish mentality?

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Spanish journalist The journalist Álvaro Montero believes that there was a mutual decision that Luis Enrique left the position of Spanish coach

Sky Sports

Spanish soccer expert Álvaro Montero told Sky Sports:

“The feeling is that it was a decision by Luis Enrique with the Spanish Football Federation, with its president Luis Rubiales. There is a great and good relationship, and here in Spain nobody talks about Enrique being fired, but after the tournament and then the World Cup, it was a decision of the coach and the president of the Spanish Football Federation.

“Remember that Luis Enrique had a contract with the Spanish team until December 31, so it is a mutual decision that he does not continue as the Spanish coach.

“The feeling within the Federation is sad because they believe in Luis Enrique’s way of understanding football. Spain had an incredible UEFA Nations League two years ago and last year, playing against France.

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Luis Enrique spoke to the media after Spain’s defeat against Morocco in the World Cup and said he was not sure about his future

Here in Spain

“But this decision is one that they had to make because Spain has not had a good tournament, and after losing against Morocco, it was the best decision, without a doubt.

“Here in Spain there has been a lot of press that has criticized the 26 players that Enrique has chosen. There are so many players, for some, who should have been playing for the Spanish team in Qatar. The relationship between Luis Enrique and the press was not especially good, especially in recent days.

“De la Fuente is not so well known internationally but he is a continuation for Spain. He is a former soccer player, coach of some clubs and in 2013, he arrived at the Spanish Soccer Federation almost a decade ago, he became the new coach of the under 21s. Many people here in Spain talked about Roberto Martínez as an option after he left Belgium.

“De la Fuente knows young players very well and the style of play has been based on Tiki-taka for over a decade. He has been criticized here in Spain in recent weeks, especially after losing to Morocco. he can change the Spanish mentality, and maybe not have as much possession but score more goals and be more dangerous.”

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