The annoyance, the seriousness and the concern of the press conferences disappear from the face of Luis Enrique when it comes to streaming on Twitch, your new comfort space beyond the dugout. The former Spanish coach, true to his style, refused numerous interviews with journalists after the elimination from the World Cup and preferred to break his silence in a pleasant conversation with none other than Ibai Llanos. An epic gathering.
Luis Enrique, better known as ‘Luis Padrique’, sits next to Ibai and sits in a ‘gamer’ chair as if it were the chair at home. He is comfortable. A dark Replay polo shirt, a ‘trousers’ in front of him and a smile drawn on his face set the tone for relaxation in a chat that lasted more than an hour.
Thousands and thousands of people connect to witness this special moment, of a duo that until a few years ago was unthinkable. Ibai asks him questions and the 52-year-old DT -with a twenty-five-year-old soul- answers and “let off steam” with the assertiveness that he cannot exhibit in conferences.
So, without a journalist to drive him crazy, Luis Enrique decides to take stock of the World Cup in his own way. The feelings, the thorns, the things that could be done, sprout without remedy. Against Morocco, Spain could not shine and he assumes responsibility, since the team he led – he confesses – could have gone much further than it did.
“I look at the semifinalists and I don’t see any better than us”, pronounce with total certainty. But things are already done and there is no choice but to turn the page. Of course, there are many things that I would have liked to have been different. Giving Sarabia more minutes is one of them. Making a small change -player by player- in his call is another.
“There is one that I would not take, I would take 25 and remove one and bring in another. To one, out. We would have been eliminated anyway, but there is one that I would have liked to bring and another that what I saw was not… He is a good person but… ”sentence without mentioning the name of the player to which he refers so as not to hurt feelings.
The coach continues to talk to Ibai as if he were his lifelong friend and laughter abounds at all times, something that at this point would be impossible to see with journalists. The bad relationship he has with the press will probably never end and is that “there is no one from the press who has dedicated even 10% of what my staff and I have dedicated to him.”
Furthermore, this journalistic tension has its reasons: “In the press conferences I am as I am. If you ask me a stupid thing, I answer you a stupid one. If you ask me disrespecting me, I answer you disrespecting you”. Simple as that.
Luis Enrique takes the opportunity to confess that they did not make him any renewal offer after the World Cup -the first time something like this has happened to him-, but he wishes the new coach Luis de La Fuente the best. He, for his part, seeks to continue training, but now again at a club and not a national team. That, for now, is his priority. Meanwhile, today he rests as he deserves and has an occasional adventure on ‘Twitch’.
The talk continues, his memories with Sporting de Gijón, Real Madrid and Barcelona sprout, and the World Cup theme remains perennial. He is even encouraged to give his favorite to win the World Cup with the four remaining teams. “I would like Leo Messi to win the World Cup, because of what it means for football”he says and many of those connected automatically write the typical phrase “cancel mufa” in the streaming chat.
Adapted to new technologies, the former Spanish coach follows Ibai’s game in everything. He understands you perfectly. He gets hooked on a Call of Duty tutorial and talks about Minecraft and DOTA like he plays it daily.
This is his new facet and many like it. Luis Enrique has known how to win affection on ‘Twitch’ as he could not at press conferences. Surely, we will see him on the bench again sooner rather than later, but today we saw him once again sitting in a ‘gamer’ chair free of any pressure or tension.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.