Spain has fired its manager days before the World Cup begins, throwing what was going to be a formidable Spanish squad into limbo right before they kickoff their World Cup journey. Julen Lopitegui was undefeated during his tenure as Spain’s manager, and had just been hired to replace Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid’s new manager.
Unfortunately, the Spanish Federation had no idea that these negotiations were ongoing and were informed only five minutes before the press conference, much to Lopitegui’s disdain, and to the shock of new Federation president Luis Rubiales
The tough decision shocked millions around the world, and has sparked intense speculation into Lopitegui’s replacement. While he’s been replaced (currently) by Fernando Hierro, it’s obvious that the position will not be retained by him unless he leads Spain to a fabulous finish in the tournament.
Rafa Benitez is at the top of many lists involving potential new managers for Spain, but the manager is well-known for preferring to run out his contracts before making any new career decisions.
I’m not too worried about the speculation, because even after Newcastle United got relegated and Benitez was under no contractual obligation to stay, he chose to remain with Newcastle United rather than push for the Spain job which he was top of the list for.
Hell, recently Benitez said to Spanish publication Marca (meh) that his sole focus on success at Newcastle United.
“If I do well here, then maybe. If not, the national team won’t happen.”
It’s not that he doesn’t want it, but he has his priorities.