- The former Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao left back has also coached the under-19 and under-21 teams.
- La Roja were knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 by Morocco.
Luis Enrique was replaced by Luis de la Fuente after Spain’s World Cup loss to Morocco. After Tuesday’s loss, the Spanish football federation thanked Enrique but said it was time to “start a new project.”
Sporting officials in Spain suggested the change. Former left back for Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, 61-year-old de la Fuente helped Spain’s under-19 team win the European Championship in 2015 and the under-21 team win the European Championship in 2019.
He was also Spain’s coach at the Olympics in Tokyo, where the team won a silver medal. De la Fuente has also coached the senior national team. When the main team had to stay in isolation because of the coronavirus, youth players were used in a friendly against Lithuania.
Roberto Martinez, the former manager of Belgium, and Marcelino Garca Toral, the former coach of Athletic Bilbao, were among the other candidates who had been thought about.
Spain started off well in Qatar by beating Costa Rica 7-0. And yet La Roja didn’t even win again in the group stages, drawing 1-1 with Germany and losing 2-1 to Japan before even being knocked out in the round of 16 by Morocco on punishments after a goalless draw in normal and extra time.
Enrique, a legend at Barcelona, took over the national team in 2018 to start making changes after the team was knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 in Russia.
He left for a while because his young daughter got sick and died, but he came back in 2019. He helped Spain get to the final four of the Nations League twice, both this year and last year, when France beat Spain in the final.
Last year, he led Spain toward the moderately of the European Championship, but they lost to Italy in a penalty kick.
The 52-year-contract old’s was supposed to end when the World Cup was over. After losing to Morocco, he said right away that he would rest for a while before starting to talk with the federation about his future.