• Classification. This is the group of Spain

"I have a good habit, because I was taught it at home, not to reveal my private conversations." On Friday of last week, in the press room of Las Rozas there were those who opened their eyes wide when Luis de la Fuente, who shortly before had given his first list of summoned, pronounced that phrase talking about what happened with Sergio Ramos. It was a kind of 'here I am' of those who do not want what happens to Vicente del Bosque, always tired of being valued more for his education or elegance than his (very broad) technical knowledge. "Make no mistake, Luis has a lot of character. But what happens to Vicente, who as he is polite, and friendly, there are those who think that this is synonymous with little personality, and nothing to do, "they say in the Federation of the new coach, who today opens against Norway in search of qualification for the next Euro 2024 (in the group are also Scotland, Georgia and Cyprus, and two pass directly).

De la Fuente is 61 years old (62 years ago in June) and, indeed, he is a kind man. In fact, the players who know him best (almost 60% of those summoned today have coincided with him in lower categories) report that education is something very important for him. Respect for the rules, discipline, compliance with schedules and kindness in the treatment are aspects that the coach takes into account within the coexistence. He hates the small groups inside the residence. For example, he forced Gavi and Ceballos to talk and make peace after the clash of both in the last classic.

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Euro'24 classification.

De la Fuente turns the National Team upside down: Kepa, Nacho, Zubimendi, Ceballos, Bryan Gil, Aspas and Joselu

  • Writing: EDUARDO J. CASTELAO Madrid

De la Fuente turns the National Team upside down: Kepa, Nacho, Zubimendi, Ceballos, Bryan Gil, Aspas and Joselu


De la Fuente's unexpected harshness with Ramos: "Is it on the list? Well, I trust others."

  • Writing: EDUARDO J. CASTELAO Madrid

De la Fuente's unexpected harshness with Ramos: "Is it on the list? Well, I trust others."

Without stridency, without noise, the truth is that it has modified substantial issues with respect to the stage of Luis Enrique. For example, he has skipped the number of international caps to name Oyarzabal as fourth captain, behind Morata, Rodri and Carvajal. Behind them appeared Olmo (29 games) and Nacho (22). The San Sebastian, with 21 games, has overtaken them by express desire of De la Fuente. Public access to selection has also changed. Last Monday's was the first open training since 2019 (when it was Robert Moreno who did it). There, in training, you can also see the change. Interventionist to the most, always with his folder, has crazy staff like the whistle. "All the time with the whistle," joke the players.

Although it is nothing more than an anecdote, there is a detail that has also changed. Luis Enrique, after training, walked barefoot on the grass to join the earth through Earthing. De la Fuente, if possible, has a beer with his coaching staff after each session to relax a little. One, no more. His coaching staff, by the way, has also changed. Pablo Amo is his second; Juanjo González, who was Luis Enrique's goalkeeper coach, is as assistant coach; Carlos Cruz maintains the position of physical trainer; Miguel Angel España is still the prepatier of goalkeepers; Pablo Peña also remains as coordinator of analysis... Of course, López Vallejo is the new psychologist of the team, and all this with Albert Luque as director of the selection.

De la Fuente, during a workout. AFP

From around the team, the most important change has been the doctor. Claudio Vázquez has replaced the legendary doctor Cota, but the rest is all the same: the communication department, the chef Rodrigo Vargas, the nutritionist Toscana Viar, all the tools, the physios and Nuria Martínez as 'team manager'. True to his routine of going to the gym every day, he does not dispense with his weight circuit, and the phrase "it is stronger than vinegar" is heard in the concentration every so often. Luis Enrique, it is true, was always very close with all the workers of the Federation, but who lived with the Asturian and lives with De la Fuente speaks of the latter as someone more campechano, more normal, with constant jokes, tending to physical contact through hugs or that traditional gesture that is to take the shoulder to the one next door.

And as for the game? During the week, he has made meetings by lines (goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards). The ball will pass less through the goalkeeper, that's for sure, and he wants a more dynamic team, with less control, fewer passes. We will have to test that when the opposing teams are locked in 30 meters, but the idea is that. He will bet on the figure of the center forward yes or yes (he has brought the four top selectable scorers).

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  • Spain national football team
  • football
  • Luis de la Fuente
  • Articles Eduardo J. Castelao