Julen Lopetegui to Real Madrid | "It's not good for Spain that it's announced today"

Graham Hunter speaks to Joe about Spain's World Cup chances and the news of their manager's next port of call

BY Raf Diallo 21:44 Tuesday 12 June 2018, 21:44 12 Jun 2018

Spain's coach Julen Lopetegui during Spain v Switzerland international friendly match in Villareal, Spain, June 3, 2018. Photo by Acero/AlterPhotos/ABACAPRESS.COM

After Brazil and Germany, Spain are one of the sides favoured to go far at the 2018 World Cup.

But a distraction of sorts has appeared on the horizon with today's news that manager Julen Lopetegui will become Real Madrid manager after the tournament.

To discuss that development and more, Graham Hunter joined us live from the Spain base city of Krasnodar in Russia.

With the biggest game in their group against Portugal coming up on Friday, Graham explained that the timing of the announcement is hardly ideal for a Spain side that appear settled and happy and primed to bounce back from the disappointment of 2014.

"You absolutely see Real Madrid's need to announce it today. It's not good for Spain that it's announced today," he said, before touching on the expectation that Lopetegui had been expected to be in charge for a longer period than he ultimately will be.

 

"This is a guy who, in theory, in terms of contract, in terms of his relationship with the new president Luis Rubiales, this is a guy in terms of his energy, age, attitude and the fact he's been through the Spain nursery teams, his relationship as we've seen so far with the players, if you stood back and look at the photo-fit, he was meant to be here for probably 4-6 years."

Graham also previewed Spain's chances of success at the World Cup, breaking down the likely starting team and front-line replacements. 

But he also explained that the atmosphere in the Spain camp seems different this time in comparison to 2014.

"The atmosphere is noticeably different from both Brazil and France," he said.

"This is a bunch that really likes working together. This is a bunch where you can see their intensity." 

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