February 28, 2021

Luis de la Fuente, the inventor of the European champions sub'21

Luis de la Fuente, the inventor of the European champions sub'21


Over the years, Luis de la Fuente has lost the curls and mustache that looked like a footballer, but has not neglected the physical form. Every day he works in the gym to not lose his form. From there he answers the telephone for interviews or talks with his collaborators. Nor has he lost the vision of the game that he showed when he was running the left wing in Athletic. It was more than a classic side, ahead of its time participating in attack. That's why in Seville many times they dared to give him the "10" and advance their position in the center of the field.

Al Sánchez Pizjuán arrived as the winner of two Leagues and a Cup with that Athletic of the early 80s that Javier Clemente directed. But he did not inherit the football ideas of Baracaldo's blond. After starting his career as a coach in the lower categories of Athletic, with a break to act as delegate of the first team at the time of Joaquín Caparrós, he went to direct to Alavés, where he could not succeed.

It was his last stop before joining the lower divisions of the Red. He was easily integrated into the group led by Ginés Carvajal. The recommendation of his promotion to lead the sub'21 as a substitute for Albert Celades was the penultimate service of Ginés to the Federation. De la Fuente had already been European champion with the sub'19 selection that has been the basis of these sub'21 who have once again dominated the continent. There were Ceballos, Vallejo, Meré, Sivera, Unai Simón and some others. Also Asensio and Rodri, whose absence has managed to manage in the best way.

The two players made him see his lack of mental predisposition to face the European, but he has never heard a reproach from the coach. His absence became a motivation for those who did attend. "It seems to me an exercise of honesty and honesty," he said. about the resignation of absentees in this newspaper before the tournament. "A player has to be totally and absolutely sure that he will be able to perform at the limit of his possibilities," he warned. And so have the 23 summoned.

Instead of complaining about those who were not there, he decided to integrate his substitutes. This is how Marc Roca and Dani Olmo appeared, for example, two of the most prominent during the tournament. He knew how to change plans without Asensio and without Rodri, as he knew how to modify the team after the first defeat against Italy. That first game showed a certain inconsistency of the team, who could not stand the advantage of the extraordinary goal of Ceballos.

Between the line-up of the first match and that of the final there are five differences, five new players, including the goalkeeper, and a small change of system. The center forward disappeared and the presence of Mikel Oyarzabal as false "9" became important. It was another support for the midfielders while remaining a safe value in the area. Mayoral became the option for the second parties and also responded with goals against Poland in the last game of the first phase and in the semifinal against France.

The value of the technician has been shown especially in decisions such as the call of Dani Olmo, who recovered in the qualification phase for the Eurocopa after two years of absence of the Spanish selections and that has become one of the best of the tournament. Also in the confidence in Vallejo. The center of Real Madrid is the strong man of that wardrobe for many years. He was the captain and in the national team that won the European Championship in 2015. The bracelet did not impose him, he was captain of Zaragoza in the Second Division at 18 years old. Y his lack of minutes during the season did not make the coach hesitate.

Vallejo's performance in the final gave reason once again to De la Fuente. The coach knew what Spain needed to win.

(tagsToTranslate) domingo garcía



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