Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has made himself an unlikely candidate to succeed Vicente del Bosque, after admitting he would ‘very much’ like to be Spain manager one day.
The 45-year-old former Spanish international was asked about his long-term future on Friday at Barca Joan Gamper training ground.
‘I’m not saying now or in the short-term but one day would you like to be the Spain coach?’ was how the reporter framed his quesiton.
‘Yes, very much so,’ was Luis Enrique’s no-nonsense reply. No one was surprised to hear him say yes. He played 62 times for his country and gave blood for them too when at the 1994 World Cup he was elbowed in the face by Italy’s Mauro Tassotti.
‘But the emphatic answer and the added ‘very much so’ suggested he may be ready to take the call sooner rather than later.
Del Bosque will leave after next summer’s European Championship and Luis Enrique had not been among the candidates mentioned to take over.
But with a Barcelona’s coach’s reign never a particularly long one he has now made sure he is spoken about as a possible successor to the man who has led Spain to a World Cup and a European Championship.
Luis Enrique almost left Barcelona last January when after a defeat to David Moyes Real Sociedad he faced a dressing room mutiny and a major fall-out with Leo Messi.
His number two, Sporting Director, Andoni Zubizarreta was sacked but he kept his job and Barca won the treble.
Perhaps it was in the knowledge that the next crisis is never too far away at Barcelona that he was throwing his hat into the ring with the Spanish FA.
Real Madrid coach Rafa Benetiz has also been talked about as a possible next Spain number one. Rayo Vallecano’s Paco Jemez is understood to be the FA’s favoured candidate.