Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish FA, is being scapegoated for Spain’s anemic World Cup as his decision to replace Real Madrid-bound Julen Lopetegui with Fernando Hierro on the eve of the tournament backfired.
No matter which side of the debate you find yourself on there is little denying that the decision to fire Spain coach Julen Lopetegui just days removed from the beginning of the World Cup has not worked out for Spanish football.
Rubiales made the decision after it was revealed that Lopetegui, who was undefeated in his last two years at the helm of the national team, was to take the reins at Real Madrid following the departure of Zinedine Zidane. Obviously irked by the decision, as well as the timing of the announcement, Rubiales chose the nuclear option. Lopetegui’s contract was terminated with immediate effect and in his stead would stand Fernando Hierro, a man with precisely nil coaching experience at that level.
In the end, Spain’s 1-0 reverse of Iran would be their only victory in Russia and the 2010 winners head home from their second successive World Cup having failed to achieve anything close to their goals.
Spain's chance evaporated with Lopetgui going. Spanish FA Cared more about their pride than Spain's chances at the world cup.— 🦁Invincible 🇪🇸 (@UnrealMonrealFC) July 1, 2018
Who benefits from Rubiales' decision? Not the players, not the coaching staff, definitely not the fans, and obviously not the NT as a whole. The fat bald people in charge are eating good though— 13 (@Asensiazo) July 1, 2018
The Spanish media will make Luis Rubiales the scapegoat for all of this— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) July 1, 2018
Spain out of the World Cup, Sergio Ramos in tears... pic.twitter.com/9nouMgzwEi— View of the Kop (@ViewOfTheKop_) July 1, 2018
People I have seen blamed for Spain's failure: Lopetegui, Rubiales, De Gea, Hierro.— Barça News and Negativity (@cynicule) July 1, 2018
People I have not seen blamed for Spain's failure: Sergio Ramos' barber, Uncle Flo.
Bedlam breaking out in Russian rain here. Hosts stay in. Hard to sympathise with Spain - carried no threat all night.— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) July 1, 2018
Lopetegui is about to take heat for this collapse.— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) July 1, 2018
When Spain had a core of Barcelona players, they won the World Cup.— Messi World (@MessiWorId) July 1, 2018
Now Spain had the core of Real Madrid players, they got knocked out in the Round of 16. The difference.
This is the most bizarre World Cup. Nothing has gone according to plan. A Lopetegui led Spain would have walked this tournament. IMO.— Mina Rzouki (@Minarzouki) July 1, 2018
De Gea will doubtless get pelters over the first and third penalties in Spain, partly because he doesn’t play in Madrid, but #ESP approach was uninspiring and Hierro’s subs questionable. No debate over Lopetegui decision now.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) July 1, 2018
Questions will be asked of the Spanish Federation too. Did they overreact in sending Lopetegui home early. No way they can say it didn't impact the team.— Godfred Akoto Boafo (@eastsportsman) July 1, 2018
Serves Spain right. Tiki taka was dead in 2013 when Bayern battered Barca and Brazil battered Spain. Awful, slow, sideways passing all game. No shots from outside box, no crosses. Can’t blame Russia’s negativity. As for Hierro, why the hell did he play 2 DMCs all game? #SPNRUS— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) July 1, 2018
Very surprised Hierro has left Iniesta out today, i actually think he has been one of their better performers in this competition, apart from the fact he is & has been one of the best midfielders to have ever played the game.— Terry Gibson (@TerryGibson88) July 1, 2018
Unbelievable.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) July 1, 2018
I don’t know the stats but despite De Gea being the best GK in the world (IMO), is he as good as Pepe Reina at saving pens? Has Hierro made a mistake not saving a sub to bring Reina on for the shootout?