On the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Spanish Football Federation made a decision that has truly shocked the world. Spain‘s considered one of the strong favorites to win it all, however, with Julen Lopetegui gone, it’s safe to say their chances have dropped significantly.
Yesterday, it was announced by Real Madrid that Lopetegui would become their next manager and he would officially take over once the World Cup was finished. Lopetegui took over for Spain in 2016 after their disappointing Euro 16 run and he had done a remarkable job rebuilding the team, giving it a brilliant attack and defense.
Luis Rubiales, the President of the Spanish Football Federation, said one of the reasons for the decision to terminate Lopetegui is due to his behavior. Rubiales defends his decision by saying he fired a man the players no longer trusted. Sergio Ramos, Spain’s captain, was the only one who would insist on Lopetegui staying at the helm of the national team. Rubiales described the firing wasn’t the best solution, but it was needed.
Spain has appointed former Real Madrid and Spanish National team captain Fernando Hierro as manager. Spain’s opening game is on Friday against the European Champions Portugal. At this point, we don’t know how Spain will perform. If the players are truly unhappy about this decision and do not trust the new manager, it’s going to be another World Cup nightmare for the 2010 World Champions. At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see.