There isn’t a bigger fixture in the opening round
The World Cup headlines have been dominated by Spain for all the wrong reasons. Spain’s preparations for the World Cup looked to have been completely undone. Julen Lopetegui was sacked by the Spanish Football Federation yesterday. The announcement that he would take up the reigns as head coach at Real Madrid infuriated Luis Rubiales. At 17:00 CET on Tuesday, Real Madrid announced that they were appointing Lopetegui and that he’d take over after the World Cup. It is reported that the Spanish Football Federation found out about that appointment five minutes before Los Blancos announced their man.
This is our project. Now that project had been broken the question was whether Spain’s effort to win the World Cup had been broken too, irreversibly damaged before it began. Luis Rubiales, Telegraph
Real Madrid’s ethics will be discussed well down the line by the media. Especially if Spain are unable to make a sustainable challenge for the World Cup. Joachim Löw, the Germany head coach gave his take on the situation when asked by the media.
This surely creates unnecessary unrest within the federation and the team. It’s totally unexpected, it’s incredible that a decision like this is made just before the team’s first match.The Spanish probably won’t lose any of the class or strength in that match, they are generally a well bonded team. Joachim Löw via marca.com
Fernando Hierro was appointed as Lopetegui’s successor. The former Oviedo head coach spent the 2014/15 season as Carlo Ancelotti’s No.2 at Real Madrid. Hierro’s first challenge will be to keep his crop of superstars focussed.
The circumstances are what they are and from now on I accept the responsibility bravely, it can’t be any other way. We have a group of players who have been together for two years to work towards the World Cup and I have been sporting director, so I understand the motivation is huge. Fernando Hierro via as.com
Spain’s quality is unquestionable but their ability to adapt to a big change is going to be tested. Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Ramos and David Silva have an important task. The squad captains must step to ensure that any unwanted distractions are put to one side. Has the current situation unsettled La Roja’s World Cup preparations? We will soon find out.