Dis­may in Spain at fir­ing of un­de­feated coach

The Nation - - SPORT -

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.

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