Dismay in Spain at firing of undefeated coach
The surprise sacking of Spain’s undefeated coach Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday, just two days before their opening World Cup game, was met with dismay and worry in the football-mad country.
Spain football federation chief Luis Rubiales said he was forced to fire Lopetegui after the coach negotiated a deal to join Real Madrid following the World Cup behind their backs.
“Of all the bad solutions, this is the worst. We are embarrassing ourselves in front of everybody,” said director of sports daily AS, Alfredo Relano, echoing the opinion of many Spaniards that Rubiales had “reacted viscerally”.
Spain and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos sought to reassure fans. “We are the national team. We represent a badge, colours, a fanbase, a country. The responsibility and commitment are with and for you. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, together,” tweeted Ramos.