"Spain is divided right now" | Guillem Balague's lowdown on the Lopetegui sacking

Joe Molloy spoke to Guillem Balague who is over in Russia about the Spanish managers controversial sacking

BY offtheball.com 19:56 Wednesday 13 June 2018, 19:56 13 Jun 2018

Spanish football president Luis Rubiales, center, attends a press conference at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Krasnodar, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. The Spanish soccer federation has fired coach Julen Lopetegui two days before the country's opening World Cup match against Portugal. Lopetegui was let go a day after Real Madrid announced him as its new coach following the World Cup. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Just over a day after being announced as Real Madrid manager, Julen Lopetegui has been sacked two days before Spain’s huge clash against rivals Portugal on Friday.

Spanish football writer Guillem Balague gave us his view on the effect this would have on the side and his view on the sacking.

"The delays in the press conference today had to do with the players trying to convince him to change his mind, led by Ramos," he explained.

"I think he should have calmed things down. He has one thing in his mind and one thing only, which was to sack Lopetegui. I understand a decision had to be made, but it’s not about you Mr. Rubiales, it’s about what’s best for the national side. He was wrong in not telling the federation what was going on but it is not the easiest of situations and he was never going to win this one. Spain is divided right now."

Continuing, he added, "I believe knowing the players a little bit they will just put their heads down and the second of the first game they will forget everything. Once the games start, no problem.

"The age of innocence of 2008 and 2012 is over for many reasons, people have been together for a long while.They felt compelled to tell their views on things which has, yes, created a bit of division, like Pique and Ramos, has been strong about Barcelona and yes that accumulates.

"Let’s just try to make the best out of it and soon whoever comes next will have to start a cycle which Lopetegui started but you can still see the remains of it with the way some of the players have been behaving."

Stephen Kierans

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