Luis de la Fuente to steer nationwide soccer workforce after shock defeat to Morocco within the spherical of 16 of the event in Qatar.
Spain’s shock loss to Morocco and elimination from the boys’s World Cup has triggered adjustments for the nation’s nationwide soccer workforce, with coach Luis Enrique changed by Luis de la Fuente.
The Spanish soccer federation on Thursday thanked Enrique however stated it was time to “begin a brand new challenge” following Tuesday’s defeat. The change was made after a suggestion from Spain’s sporting officers.
The 61-year-old de la Fuente, a former left-back with Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, helped Spain’s under-19 squad win the European Championship in 2015, and the under-21 workforce win Euro 2019. He additionally coached Spain’s squad on the Tokyo Olympic Video games, the place they received a silver medal.
De la Fuente additionally as soon as coached the senior nationwide workforce when youth gamers had been utilized in a pleasant in opposition to Lithuania as a result of the primary squad had to enter isolation due to the coronavirus.
Different candidates who had been thought of included former Belgium supervisor Roberto Martínez and ex-Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino García Toral.
Spain received off to a great begin in Qatar, routing Costa Rica 7-0. However La Roja didn’t win once more within the group phases, drawing 1-1 with Germany and shedding 2-1 to Japan earlier than being knocked out within the spherical of 16 by Morocco on penalties after a goalless attract regular and additional time.
Enrique, a Barcelona legend, took over the nationwide workforce in 2018 to start out revamping the squad after its elimination within the spherical of 16 of the World Cup in Russia. He briefly left due to the sickness and eventual loss of life of his younger daughter however returned in 2019.
He helped Spain attain the final 4 of the Nations League twice, together with this season and final yr when it misplaced the ultimate to France.
He additionally led Spain to the semi-finals of the European Championship final yr, shedding to Italy in a penalty shootout.
The 52-year-old’s contract had been as a consequence of finish after the World Cup. Moments after the loss to Morocco, he stated he would take a while to relaxation earlier than beginning talks with the federation about his future.
The workforce’s elimination in Qatar raised extra questions on whether or not Spain, the 2010 world champions, ought to begin overhauling their soccer philosophy and eliminate the “tiki-taka” ball-possession fashion that has not produced a lot within the methods of current outcomes. Enrique had stated he was not planning to relinquish the “tiki-taka” if he remained as a coach, and de la Fuente is also more likely to maintain it alive.
Soccer analyst Gemma Soler instructed Al Jazeera that Enrique’s removing didn’t come as a shock following the “catastrophe” in Qatar and described de la Fuente’s appointment as “an inner resolution”.
“He’s been the under-21 coach so he is aware of all this younger era of Spanish new gamers,” Soler stated, including that the brand new coach would possibly share his predecessor’s soccer concepts however when it comes to character, the 2 males are fairly completely different.
“Luis Enrique has such a [strong] character, he likes to talk and to be within the highlight, whereas Luis de la Fuente is the other.”
De la Fuente is anticipated to make his debut with the senior workforce when Spain resume enjoying in qualifying for Euro 2024, dealing with Norway of their opening match of the marketing campaign on March 25 subsequent yr.