The depressingly popular program has been scathing in its assessment of Lucho and his players throughout the European Championship.
“Well done,” Luis Enrique mocked, his voice dripping with sarcasm like chocolate dripping over a soggy churro. The Spain manager was asked if he would make any changes to his squad for the last 16 clashes with Croatia.
“Maybe I will,” said Luis Enrique, before pausing. “And…?” asked the coach. “Maybe you won’t,” the reporter said reluctantly. “Well done.”
Luis Enrique doesn’t have much respect for the media and has made it known throughout his coaching career. From laughing at an Italian television journalist while he was in Rome when asked if his team had a psychological problem, to various clashes during his time on the Barcelona bench, there have long been tensions in the relationship.
When you see the level of reporting and debate on a very popular late night football chat show El Chiringuito, it’s no surprise that Luis Enrique has a bee in his bonnet.
The program, on the channel Mega, is an attention gap that has even attracted interest and mockery from the stranger. Even if El Chiringuito sometimes takes itself for a talk show on football, it is closer to fan TV – to reality TV but to football – with exaggerated shots and reactions from “journalists” and experts.
It thrives on controversies, often inventing where none can be found, and is a clear example of “telebasura” – a trash television. It’s a show where you know less after watching than before you turn it on.
The show was inspired by “Salvame,” a celebrity privacy gossip show. The word, Chiringuito, means beach bar, and the discussion rarely ventures beyond the insight of intoxicated middle-aged men shouting their opinions at each other.
A former guest of the show said Goal: “[Josep] Pedrerol told me before continuing: “It’s very easy, imagine you are at the pub”.
However, since its reporters are allowed access to games and press conferences, it has an element of legitimacy.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has chosen El Chiringuito as the platform to talk about the European Super League after its launch. It was a strange decision in a global context, highlighted by the dismal failure of the project, but a decision made from his perspective because he knew he would not face criticism from the host of Chiringuito, Pedrerol, or his friends.
Although Pedrerol, a Catalan, claims to be a Barcelona supporter, his words and actions generally tend to be aligned with Real Madrid. The show itself is keen to attack Barcelona whenever the opportunity presents itself – and there have been many, under disgraced former president Josep Maria Bartomeu – or any player seen as disloyal to Madrid.
Gareth Bale was often blasted on the show, for his injuries, for his love of golf, for his body language, with Pedrerol and his colleagues sniffing at the Welshman’s perceived failures.
The show’s dramatic and viral reaction to Eden Hazard’s conversation with former Chelsea teammates after the Champions League semi-final second leg (“another Bale”), is a prime example of the cartoonish content, bordering on self-parody.
Grim, tense music behind a stone-faced Pedrerol, rolling his hands side to side angrily. An image of Hazard laughing after the game and the host goes into a monologue.
“What Hazard did is very serious,” grumbles Pedrerol. “Hazard … Hazard … Hazard cannot stay a second longer at Real Madrid.”
The show attacked Luis Enrique relentlessly during the build-up and start of Euro 2020, but was left eating a humble pie as Spain reached the semi-finals, where they face Italy on Tuesday.
“Luis Enrique shows he doesn’t know anything about football,” complained guest Hugo Gatti (nickname ‘The Madman’), after the coach named the Spain team without bringing in players from the Real Madrid.
He ignored the fact that Ramos had played three games all year and the injuries of Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez, leaving Nacho as the only real option to call.
“Are you ashamed of this national team? Pedrerol asked, in a Chiringuito poll after the 1-1 draw against Poland in the group stage.
Goal Journalist Ruben Uria wrote a brutally accurate article highlighting Pedrerol’s many flaws, to which the presenter responded on Twitter, jokingly asking him if he should step down. He’s bulletproof and unwavering, ready to continue to be the “human weather vane that changes color with the occasion,” as Uria describes it.
In the meantime, Luis Enrique continues to lead his young Spanish team towards his final goal, another European Championship to accompany his victories in 2008 and 2012.
Luis Enrique shows his anger and frustration at the speech around his team during press conferences, but the players block the noise on the pitch.
The coach stayed with forward Alvaro Morata despite complaints about his missed opportunities, and the Juventus forward paid him off with the goal against Croatia in overtime which decided the game.
“If Morata missed these chances you would impale him,” Lucho replied after Spain overtook Switzerland on penalties as Gerard Moreno swelled his lines in front of goal.
Luis Enrique fostered a strong team spirit, where players stand up and are blamed when they do things wrong, never hiding. Morata was picked to speak to the media after the first few games where he struggled to regain form, and goalkeeper Unai Simon was picked after blundering against Croatia, allowing Pedri’s 50-yard back pass. to enter.
The goalkeeper made special overtime saves to bounce back and was the penalty shootout hero against Switzerland, participating in his quick double-time redemption arc.
By taking as many arrows as possible in the media, the coach protected the team’s mentality and internal determination, with several players noting the team’s cohesion throughout the tournament.
Spain’s clash with Italy at Wembley is tantalizing, but even if La Roja fails Luis Enrique has done enough to make El Chiringuito look like the butt of the joke he so often is.