Who is Luis de la Fuente, Luis Enrique's replacement as Spain's new coach?
Luis de la Fuente has been appointed the new coach of the Spain senior men’s national team following the departure of Luis Enrique in the wake of the shocking Qatar World Cup 2022 exit.
Luis de la Fuente has been appointed the new coach of the Spain senior men's national team following the departure of Luis Enrique in the wake of the shocking exit from Qatar World Cup 2022 in the last-16 stage.
It was announced earlier on Thursday that Luis Enrique would leave his post following La Roja's shock elimination from the showpiece event after suffering a loss to Morocco on penalties on Tuesday. The RFEF moved quickly to appoint former U21 coach De la Fuente as Luis Enrique's successor.
"The RFEF has chosen Luis de la Fuente as the new absolute national coach. The sports director, José Francisco Molina , has forwarded a report to the president, Luis Rubiales , in which he recommends the choice of the La Rioja coach, until now the U-21 coach, to lead the new stage that begins after the World Cup in Qatar. Molina will present the report for his appointment next Monday, December 12, to the RFEF board of directors," read a statement.
Since his appointment at the RFEF, Luis de la Fuente has managed well in the lower levels of the National Team. Under his guidance, the under-19 team were named European champions in 2015.
With the under-18 squad, Luis de la Fuente won a gold medal in the Mediterranean Games in 2018. In the following months, he was appointed U-21 coach in July 2018. A year later, in 2019, he was declared European champion in Italy, winning Spain's fifth victory after defeating Germany in the championship game (2-1). The coach is also an Olympic silver medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Anecdotally, De la Fuente has to his credit a match for the National Team in June 2021 against Lithuania in Butarque at the gates of Euro 2020 when the national team was confined by Covid protocol. The new coach will debut in March in Germany's Euro 2024 qualifying phase and direct their first two games against Norway and Scotland.