The 52-year old Luis Enrique, Spain’s coach, erstwhile a touch frosty with the media, has dramatically changed his reputation with open funny conversations on his daily Twitch stream from the Qatar world cup (every night 8pm Qatar time), apart from his daily shirt-less selfies on Instagram.
Espn’s Sam Marsden and Alex Kirkland have translated the highlights of his conversations so far, and it looks like Enrique, a former player, is having an absolute ball with the Spanish fans.
Shouldn’t we get that out, right away?
“It’s ridiculous [to ban it]. It’s something I consider totally normal. If you’re at an orgy the night before a match, then obviously that’s not ideal, but when I’m a club coach the players are at home the night before a game, so it’s not something that worries me.
If it’s something they do then it’s because they need to and want to. But I repeat, with common sense! Each one with their partner. It’s normal. When I was a player, if I was at home before a game, with my wife, well we did what we had to do.”
He also joked with a fan that he wears a G-string ( the question was whether he wore boxers or trunks?). ”I have done all the flirting I needed to. I am lucky to have my wife here.”
Insane cycle rides
Known to be a fitness freak – he has done two Ironman triathlons, he loves riding his cycle. He has found a way at Qatar as well.
“There’s a cycle path that leaves from the university [where Spain are based],” he said. “It’s the longest in the world, 33 kilometres [20.5 miles] in one direction and 33 kilometres back. There’s a good temperature, 24 degrees [Celsius, 75 degrees Fahrenheit]. It’s a smooth ride.”
Spanish omelette with or without onions?
In 2021, El Mundo ran a nationwide poll and onions won. In tortilla de patatas, 73% of Spanish people voted for onions.
However, Enrique said “without onion, please!”. He even switched to English to make a point about cheese. “I hate cheese.” And no surprise that he doesn’t like pizzas either.
Roz khao Ande, the egg-lover
“ I can eat six or more eggs during a day. They are one of the most nutritious foods by far, if you can make sure they are free-range. I don’t know if they are [in Qatar]. I hope there are hens grazing around here, although there are not many in the desert. But that does not mean I eat six every today. Today only five: two boiled and three fried. I also had some cuttlefish, sweet potato, some mushrooms and a yoghurt for dessert.”
Beer-ritual before games
“The day before a game, with my staff, we have a beer and make a toast. It is a ritual. Honestly, it is great for your energy.”
A date with German coach Hansi Flick after final
The pair have fixed a date for the day after the world cup final.
“Hansi Flick and I have arranged to meet as if we were a couple. Half-joking, half-serious, we have pencilled in Dec. 18. Being in the same group, it means we can’t meet until then. I hope it happens. Flick is a coach I like a lot. He won a lot of trophies with Bayern, but beyond that, he’s warm and very respectful. Germany are capable of going all the way.”
But if not Spain, would he want Germany or Argentina to win?
“If Spain don’t win the World Cup, I’d like Argentina to win it,” Enrique said. “For a player of the stature of Leo Messi, it would be unfair for him [to retire] without winning a World Cup. It will be his fifth [tournament], but to be honest I think he could play a sixth. Physically and with his ambition, you can’t rule it out.”
What’s his view on Ferran Torres dating his daughter Sila?
He brought it up himself when a Twitcher asked him: “If [Sergio] Busquets was an extension of [Spain manager from 2008 to 2016] Vicente del Bosque on the pitch, who is yours?”
“That’s easy,” Enrique replied. “Mine is Ferran. If [I don’t say that] my daughter will cut my head off!”
So, is he going to tattoo that world cup image if Spain wins?
“I’m not going to tattoo that if we win the World Cup. I already have enough tattoos on my body and I think I won’t get tattooed anymore. I’ve run out (of space),he told his followers even as he was watching the second half of the Argentina Poland game.