Luis De la Fuente: Exclusive Interview


News Team

People change, and one day you’ll notice the difference. And you won’t come back anymore.

In any press conference, have you ever felt alone in front of six miuras? There’s a lot of talk about the coach’s loneliness, but I don’t feel alone thanks to the coaching staff. I feel very close to him. But it is true that there is a part in which one only has to deal with and is more exposed. In the press conference one evolves, understands some things and changes. Before I was more exposed, in the sense that I had more information, and I have learned that it is not necessary to have so much information to make decisions independently. There is no influence. In my work I need this.

Did we see the most sincere De la Fuente on Jenni Hermoso’s day? I am always sincere and I always tell the truth, sometimes too much. All my classmates say that I talk too much, but I like to expand. That day was a difficult day and he had to show his face and ask for forgiveness. It doesn’t hurt my clothes. We all make mistakes and I make a lot. Then you have to be generous to accept sincere apologies and I think people understood that I was sincere. I spoke with Xavi and he didn’t reproach me for anything.

How was having to go to the National Court? Well… In the end, those are situations that occur. I gave a somewhat crude example. You go down the street, you see that they have broken a glass and they call you to see if it was broken. It was something similar, although on a much more important topic. It was my turn to go, although I had no participation. But since someone saw that I was very close…

The list for the Euro seems very clear, doesn’t it? It is very good news that we have a base already made and I think it is a consequence of a job very well done over the past year. Very professional and detailed work. The foundation is done, but there are seven months left and there will be unpleasant situations that will arise. Some changes will have to be made and we manage a pool of 35-40 players. All the players are very good and these changes do not worry me. The problem would be if three or four players fell in the same position.

Can Isco enter? I have not said that he cannot enter. Any Spanish footballer who may be selected can enter. What I have said is that in the same way that someone else can come, someone else can come… When you have to choose 23… I would be happy to take 40 players, but it is not possible. Our drama is that there are very good players and we can only choose 23.

Is Isco’s football suitable for what you want? Yes, Isco is a great footballer and he is in a very good moment, but there are other players who are also in good shape. And when it comes to choosing, due to some details that one makes in his approach, I choose others, but Isco is a magnificent footballer. And now I make more of Vicente’s words: “Everyone has someone from the town who plays soccer and we would all like to have a player from each province.”

But we are talking about a player who has been chosen MVP 10 times this season. How many games has he seen him play? Everyone. We see all the players every week. We have a field with five or six players per position, there are approximately 55-60 players. And we watch all of these players’ games and review what they do. It’s a matter of making decisions and some players will like one and others another. I am unfair to those who do not come and fair to those who come.

He was seen on the verge of tears with Gavi’s injury. How are you doing? When we had the September training camp, Dani (Olmo) and Marco (Asensio) were injured and I said that I would have changed even the result. I always prioritize the player’s health and seeing Gavi, who is one of the most beloved in the locker room, who is life in there… He gave us a very bad time. The locker room moment at half-time was very hard.

How was the conversation with Xavi? The talk with Xavi was very good. I have a great relationship with him. We talked about football and he understood what had happened. I understand that people talk, but we take care of the players. Pedri could have come to the last list and he didn’t come. I spoke with Xavi and there was no reproach, it was a coach-to-coach talk and it was very cordial.

Do you talk to many coaches? No, with few. It feels like I want to interfere with something. And they don’t call me much either, even though they have my phone open. I talk to them about general football things and perhaps, with great caution, about a specific player to ask for some specific information.

Does it bother you that the national teams are accused of injuries? Yes, I don’t like that being said. The calendar is made in July and everyone approves it, so I don’t like to have buts and buts. If it is accepted in July, it must be accepted until the end. We don’t realize that the national team is the team of an entire country. We must feel proud of the team and a part of our heart should be more of the teams.

How will you see a change in the calendar and grouping all the national team matches? I adapt to what the calendar dictates. If so, let two months of selections be played in June, then let it be played like that. But if there are these windows now, they must be respected. I am in favor of improving football and of course, the national team. My mission is to get the maximum performance out of the team on the corresponding dates.

When are you going to renew? There is no rush. I am comfortable where I am, I am happy in the RFEF. I have always been comfortable renewing year by year. It never made me worried because I felt valued and I am happy. If they are happy and I am satisfied with what is proposed to me, then that’s it. I don’t think a second of my life about renewal.

Is Spain ready to win the Euro Cup? We are here to fight to win the Euro Cup. Winning is a thousand details, but I think we are at the level of the best. We have room for improvement and we will fight to achieve the greatest success.

Have you spoken to Luis Enrique again? No, but I have a good relationship with him.

How does De la Fuente experience Christmas? It is a time of different feelings. I like it, I have the Christmas spirit and the family gets together a lot, but at the same time it is a sad time because we miss those who are not here. I try to live it with joy.

Three Wise Men or Santa Claus? Three Wise Men, without any doubt.

Should we ask the Kings for the Euro? Yes, but we are going to arrive in health. I want to ask for health, which is the most important thing.

And does De la Fuente cook at Christmas? No. And the rest of the year neither [laughs]. I am a good eater and I enjoy good food. I leave his place to the one who cooks… Don’t tell me that on Christmas…

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