2023 Nations League Finals: La Fuente has opened up on the mindset Spain will use to approach Italy in their semi-final encounter
The coach of Spain, Luis de la Fuente, stated that he will approach the Nations League semi-final against Italy on Thursday with the mindset that it could be his final game as coach.
He took over from Luis Enrique in December after Spain’s elimination from the World Cup in the round of 16 and has received negative feedback leading up to the “final four” match.
In March, Spain lost 2-0 to Scotland during the Euro 2024 qualifying match. Although they won their first game under the new coach against Norway with a score of 3-0, their performance was not very impressive.
“We think about getting to the final. There is no ‘next day’, I look at it as if it’s my last game – not just now, but always,” De la Fuente told a news conference Wednesday.
“The only way to face something with energy, and with desire and giving absolutely everything, is to think that it’s the last chance of your life.”
“But I’ve always done it, that’s how it is, as if it’s my last game. We’re going to go all out, I don’t think about what comes next.”
The most recent time Spain earned a championship title was during the Euro 2012 final, where they defeated Italy with a score of 4-0.
“It’s a historic opportunity to win a trophy in two matches, we’re ready to face a game of this level,” continued De la Fuente.
“We’ve got the power to win any title, Spain has very good players, but we’re taking on opponents in the same position.”
“Italy is quite a similar national team to us now. We’re still in the process of consolidating our idea, we’ve had very little time to do it.”
“This could be a Euro or World Cup final. Details will be decisive, we’ll be at the level that’s demanded of us.”
Under the leadership of Luis Enrique, Spain secured their spot in the Nations League finals by outperforming Portugal, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.
“We are privileged to be here, we have to value the work of the whole technical team that achieved this,” added De la Fuente.
During the week, a few members of the team, such as Jesus Navas and Unai Simon, came to the defense of their coach. Later, Jordi Alba also expressed his support for the coach.
“I think he’s very calm, everyone has to be united,” said the left-back, currently without a club after leaving Barcelona.
“Sometimes the players are the ones who have to take a step forward. We can’t doubt the work that being done, I think the work is very good.”
Alba maintained that he was not concerned about what lies ahead and was concentrating on the Nations League.
“It’s a new era, everyone is excited, I am excited as captain,” said the 34-year-old.