Spain announce successor to Luis Enrique
By Sean Walsh
Spain have moved swiftly to appoint a successor to outgoing manager Luis Enrique.
La Roja announced on Thursday morning that Enrique would be stepping down from his role following Spain's last 16 elimination at the 2022 World Cup to Morocco.
And within an hour of that announcement, they confirmed Luis de la Fuente will be promoted from his role as head coach of the Under-21 side, with further confirmation to come on Monday.
A statement read: "The RFEF has chosen Luis de la Fuente as the new absolute national coach. The sports director, Jose Francisco Molina, has forwarded a report to the president, Luis Rubiales , in which he recommends the choice of the coach from La Rioja, until now the U21 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.
"Luis de la Fuente has managed successfully in the lower categories of the National Team since his arrival at the RFEF. In 2015, he was proclaimed European champion with the under-19 team. In 2018, he was a gold medalist at the Mediterranean Games with the under-18 team. Subsequently, in July 2018 he was named U-21 coach and a year later, in 2019, he was proclaimed European champion in Italy, winning the fifth win for Spain after beating Germany in the final (2-1). The coach is also an Olympic silver medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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"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 make his debut in March in Germany's Euro 2024 qualifying phase and will direct their first two matches against Norway and Scotland.
"Once his appointment was ratified by the board of directors, Luis de la Fuente would be presented on Monday, December 12 at 12:30 p.m. in the Luis Aragones room of the Ciudad del Futbol."