Once upon a time, Spain’s national coach was being watched critically. During the European Championship in Germany, the entire country cheered for Luis de la Fuente. He stood up, applauded, and later regretted his actions. Luis de la Fuente called it an „inexcusable human error“ when he showed his support for Luis Rubiales amidst the kissing scandal. While the controversial former president of the Spanish Football Federation condemned the „wrong feminism,“ de la Fuente applauded.

The Spanish National Coach did not have to fear severe consequences. Although parts of the Spanish public, especially on social media, called for Rubiales and his supporters to be fired, de la Fuente confidently stated, „I do not have to resign.“ Ten months later, he finds himself in the quarterfinals of the Euro and is set to face Germany.

His ability to restore his reputation – critics labeled him as having a „chameleon-like personality“ – and mold the Spanish national team into a successful unit was probably underestimated by many. His predecessor was Luis Enrique, a highly respected and decorated coach in Spain. De la Fuente, on the other hand, was relatively unknown, having previously coached Spanish youth national teams – albeit successfully.

De la Fuente won the U19 and U21 European titles with the Spanish teams, where players like Dani Olmo, Fabián Ruiz, and Unai Simón featured under his guidance. After years of working together, de la Fuente knows his players well, celebrating the Nations League title with them.

Confident in his team’s abilities, de la Fuente boldly claimed that there is no better national team in the world than the Spanish team. His players seem to feed off his confidence. Playmaker Pedri expressed his frustration with Germany’s defender Antonio Rüdiger before their match, stating, „He is a strong center-back and very good, but there is no need to fear him. The pinching behavior seems disrespectful to me because it hurts and is annoying.“

Former Bundesliga striker Joselu even hinted that the Spaniards would end the career of his former Real Madrid teammate Toni Kroos: „I believe Friday will be Toni’s last game.“ Young star Lamine Yamal confidently stated, „I do not see any team better than ours.“

The team is brimming with self-assurance, and it seems to be propelling them forward. Spain advanced to the knockout stage of the Euro without conceding a goal, impressing on the field, especially with their young talents like Yamal (16 years old) and Nico Williams (21 years old). De la Fuente places them ahead of the experienced players and leverages his experience from the youth sector, resulting in a cohesive team.