The clock said 12:49 when Luis de la Fuente appeared in the Luis Aragonés room of the Ciudad Deportiva de Las Rozas. Blue jacket with white shirt and blue round neck sweater. As far removed from the formal federative tie as from the casual polo shirt of Luis Enrique, The man from La Rioja began by taking the floor before the journalists’ questions with the close and familiar treatment that he intends to imprint on his stage as Spain coach: “Good morning, The first thing I want is to welcome you to the Federation, our home, in this first press conference. I have been the coach for three months and I want to thank my coaching staff for the tremendous work that has made it very easy for me to make decisions”.
Sergio Ramos, protagonist
And the shooting began. The first question arrived, of the eight that would be asked, about Sergio Ramoswhich received an elegant glove with an open hand in response: “We are not going to talk about people who are not there, but I want to settle this. My admiration and recognition for a player who has made history in the national team. Having said that, it was a private conversation and I have a good habit of not airing private conversations. The only thing I have to say is that there is a new coach, with new ideas and new players, to whom I want to transmit security and confidence”. From there It was a siege on the discard and the conversation with the one from Camas, which he dodged with manifest discomfort pointing out that “it was not called, it was a video call.” So the faces did see them.
A dozen cameras were pointed at him and more than fifty journalists were listening attentively with a group of Costa Rican technicians scattered around the room. De la Fuente convulsively repeated words such as “team”, “game idea”, “agree” or “naturalness”. Despite it being his first appearance, the man from La Rioja seemed comfortable in front of the press and in front of a group that included well-known football faces such as Pablo Amo, Ettien, Tito, Javier López Vallejo, Raúl Ruiz… The coach tried to explain his ideology of game and a call in which it was clear that Spain is moving from La Masia to northern round-trip football that is played in Lezama, Anoeta and Tajonar. A football with forwards, up to four (Morata, Joselu, Aspas and Gerard Moreno), a figure that had not been seen in a selection call for years. From spoon and touch football to knife and fork football, vertical and vertiginous.
De la Fuente’s Creed
De la Fuente was reciting his credo while dodging the questions of each other. “There is no untouchable and there will not be”… “There is an idea of the game and there may be several schemes to carry it out”… “There are systems that I like better, but we are faithful to an idea and at times we will play in different ways ”… “I want a captain with a captain who adds, as an example and not only wears the armband”… Minutes passed and the man from La Rioja confirmed the transition from “Luis Enrique’s transition” to “Luis’s team”. A more choral idea of selection fleeing from the polarization of the Spanish fans that occurred around the figure of coach, a Luis Enrique whom he did not name in the entire press conference and was very careful to avoid any comparison with him.
Until the staging of the call, with the original videos created by the Federation to announce the list, it was more rustic than those of Lucho. De la Fuente hung on the cord of a shopkeeper some photos of the chosen players, in adolescent times, when they played in the lower categories. Away from the technological-media displays of his predecessor. There is no news on Twitch at this time of De la Fuente nor does it seem that there will be.
The ‘delafuentólogos’, that there are, were betting on the appearance of Yeray and Gabri Veiga in the call, something that finally did not occur. The youth squad from Vigo will be the head of a mouse in the Under-21s waiting to be the lion’s tail in a future call-up in which he has more opportunities. In this first, Haro’s has many players to pay attention to. Eleven of the 26 repeat, but fifteen are new bets. And for others it awaits. Le Normand must resolve the processing of his dual nationality, César Azpilicueta, in whom he was interested, must recover, like Unai Simón, with whom he counts for the goal. Bjacetic will go through the Under-21 first and Marco Asensio asked him to “keep fighting, show more capacity for sacrifice and above all not stop being ambitious.
Haaland ‘launches’ the defense
On Tuesday he faces his first challenge, the Norway of Odegaard and, above all, of Haaland. Much more than a validation for De la Fuente and his centrals, especially with the absence of Sergio Ramos. If the City cannibal surpasses the defenders chosen by the coach, whether they are Laporte, Nacho, Íñigo or David García, Pharaoh de Camas will be even more of a protagonist in the subsequent press conference than in his premiere. Until that happens, the new coach will get off the scaffolding and open the doors to the public for the first training session for his new team, on Monday at 7:00 p.m. “Luis’s team” is already a reality.