Spain manager Luis de la Fuente confirms he would drop players if they are ‘not a good person’

Spain manager Luis de la Fuente has said he is willing to leave out quality players from La Roja if their heart is not in the right place. De la Fuente will lead Spain into the Euros in Germany, and after a tricky start, has won over many with improved performances and a Nations League victory.

It was put to him by Marca that he always says you need to be a good person to get a call up to the national team before anything else.

“To succeed in football you have to be a good player… and have a thousand more details. And the most important thing are those thousand more details and one of those details, for me the most important, is being a good person, because that encompasses respect, camaraderie, solidarity, humility, respect… Without this I do not understand team sport.”

He confirmed that he has dropped players for their lack of character.

“No doubt, yes no doubt. Therein lies the importance of managing a group. A group works better if we are all on good terms, if we all understand that quality has to be at the service of the team, if we understand that we have to have a good attitude whether it is your turn or not to play… That respect for teammates is essential and I don’t think there can be any exceptions.”

“Give me a good footballer who is a good person, and I will get more out of him than another player who raises doubts in you. The national team is different from a club. Here there are no 38 days to change things. Here you have a game and if you are not one hundred percent, you are out. And you have to control those small details and if you don’t take care of them, they can put you out. A bad gesture can put you out of a competition like that.”

De la Fuente was asked how exactly he measures or finds out if someone is a good person or not.

“What I said on the day of my presentation: I know them all. Some from the age of 16. I have been in the entire player training process.”

The senior manager came up through the national team ranks, taking charge of the under-19, under-21 and then Olympic team before making the jump. And should people change over the years, the Spain door under de la Fuente will slam shut.

“Yes, people change and one day you will notice the difference… And you won’t come anymore.”

De la Fuente appears to have the backing of the dressing room thus far, and that relationship no doubt players a key part. Notably the two major questions marks that de la Fuente has avoided calling up so far are older, in Isco and Sergio Ramos. That doesn’t mean to say he would not call up with veterans, as evidenced by Joselu and Jesus Navas, but both Ramos and Isco are strong characters.

Tags Luis de la Fuente Spain La Roja
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