Luis de la Fuente has taken on the biggest job of his career so far, and it’s expected that he will use his experience of his previous work to guide him.
The 62-year-old replaced the outgoing Luis Enrique as head coach of the Spanish national team on Thursday, as he was promoted from his previous position of managing the under-21 squad.
The Spain job is only his second managerial position in senior football, having spent the majority of his career coaching youth sides. His only other job was as manager of Alaves, with whom he was only in charge for three months.
One of his former players at Alaves was Carlos Indiano. The 34-year-old spoke to Relevo to give his experiences of being managed by de la Fuente, in which he detailed why it perhaps didn’t work out for the coach in the Basque Country.
“He was such a good guy that sometimes it was difficult for him to have a voice or say something in a clearer way. Being such a good person partly killed him with us.”
Indiano also emphasised de la Fuente’s commitment to youth, using an example of his time with Alaves.
“He didn’t mind risking (youth players). In fact, in the first game of the league, which we played against Osasuna B, he put a 17-year-old boy in midfield [Alex Vallejo]. Yes, it is true that then the boy made several mistakes and he was replaced soon after, but he put him as a starter ahead of players with much more status within the squad.”
De la Fuente is expected to bring in younger players to the national team when he announces his first squad in March.