MADRID (Reuters) - Following is reaction to the sacking of Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, who was dismissed on Wednesday, two days before their first World Cup match. Fernando Hierro has been named as Lopetegui’s replacement.
“We are the national team, we represent a badge, colours, a fanbase and a country. Our responsibility and commitment is with you as well as for you. Yesterday, today and tomorrow together.” Spain captain Sergio Ramos.
“Lopetegui’s decision was to me inopportune, unexpected and a hasty one. It was a surprise but (Spanish football federation president Luis) Rubiales has reacted very well. He’s looked out for the federation, which should always come before clubs.” Former Spain international Xavi.
“I was surprised by it. It was totally unexpected. I do not know the background but such a decision two days before the first game of the team is a shock. It brings unnecessary disturbance into the federation and the team.” Germany coach Joachim Loew.
“Rubiales was impeccable in his arguments for firing the coach. The values of the national team are above everything. Even if we can’t win the World Cup, the Spanish are now champions of dignity.” Former Spain striker Juanito.
“It would be a problem for us if (Portugal coach) Fernando Santos left.” Portugal forward Bernardo Silva, whose side face Spain on Friday.
“It’s never a bad decision to preserve the dignity of the national team shirt and make it count for something. And that is what Rubiales has done.” Former Spain goalkeeper Santiago Canizares.
“Good luck, Fernando.” Real Oviedo, the only team which Hierro has coached at a senior level.
“This is a difficult situation for our national team, but now, more than ever, we have to support them. I have a lot of confidence in the talents and mentality of this team, I am sure they can go far and challenge for the title.” Chelsea and Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who was not included in the squad.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis