Luis de la Fuente extends Spain contract until 2026 World Cup


Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente has agreed a contract extension through to the World Cup in 2026.

The previous deal for De la Fuente, 62, had been due to expire this summer — but this extension ensures he will continue coaching the men’s national team beyond this summer’s European Championship and through to the World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

De la Fuente guided Spain to their first-ever Nations League triumph last year, when they defeated Croatia in a penalty shootout in the final.

He also oversaw Spain’s qualification for this summer’s European Championship finals, which will be held in Germany in June.

A statement from the Spanish FA (RFEF) on Thursday read: “The Managing Commission considers De la Fuente’s renewal to be a necessary step for the national team and for the institution which directs football in Spain, providing the national team with stability in preparation for the European Championship.”

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De la Fuente was appointed Spain head coach to succeed Luis Enrique, following their elimination from the World Cup by Morocco at the round of 16 stage in 2022.

De la Fuente’s highest-profile club management job was 11 matches in charge of Alaves in 2011, before coaching Spain at multiple youth levels prior to his appointment as national team manager.

He has guided Spain to victory in eight of his ten matches at the helm.

The RFEF has yet to appoint a permanent successor to former president Luis Rubiales, who is serving a three-year ban from football. Pedro Rocha is the caretaker RFEF president with elections to appoint a permanent successor to Rubiales pushed back.

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De la Fuente’s renewal should provide Spain with stability after a turbulent 14 months — which featured his predecessor Luis Enrique resigning after a World Cup round-of-16 exit, a first UEFA Nations League title and the fiasco over former RFEF president Luis Rubiales following his unsolicited kiss on Jennifer Hermoso.

The Spain head coach was criticised for his applause of Rubiales during the speech in which he repeated he would not resign five times. De la Fuente later apologised for that, saying the backlash was “totally deserved” but adding that he was “not able to control my emotions”.

On the pitch, he has set about moulding a solid if unspectacular team. That Nations League win in June came after a win on penalties against Croatia and was Spain’s first piece of silverware since the 2012 European Championship. But fans will not be comparing this current generation to the serial winners of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Iker Casillas anytime soon — expectations are realistic ahead of this summer’s Euros.

Even if that tournament does not go to plan, the RFEF has shown faith in De la Fuente to keep leading the team until the 2026 World Cup. But with the Federation yet to find a permanent successor to Rubiales, they have bigger off-field issues to deal with.

(Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)





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