Opinion: Unwanted chaos ahead of World Cup may mar Spain's chances against Ronaldo's Portugal
Just a day before the tournament, Spain's coach Julen Lopetegui was fired by Spanish football association. Photograph: (Reuters)
On the eve of the football World Cup 2018, Spain encountered an unwanted chaos which might cost the "The Red Fury" in their opener match against arch-rival Portugal.
Just a day before the tournament, Spain's coach Julen Lopetegui was fired by Spanish football association. The association has appointed Fernando Hierro as the new coach.
The former coach Lopetegui has actively participated with team's training sessions and the team must have gotten into the comfort zone with him but this sudden change in leadership will have repercussions during football World Cup.
The sacking came a day after Julen Lopetegui was signed up as Real Madrid's coach. His record for Spanish national team has been outstanding as under his guidance Spain remained unbeaten in 20 games since 2016.
The signing seemed very unethical, resulted in Lopetegui ouster and now the impact of which will be seen in the World Cup opener against Portugal.
The Portugal - Spain football rivalry is one of the oldest in the game. It is also known as "The Iberian War" or "The Iberian Derby."
Both teams have met on several occasions since their first match in 1921 and Spain have dominated Portugal on most times. Out of their 36 meetings (of which 8 matches were competitive), Spain and Portugal have won 18 and six matches respectively.
Spain and Portugal represent the strongest football nations in the world.
The history behind the Spain Portugal rivalry started in the 15th century and it continued when the Portuguese Restoration War was initiated against Spain, and Portugal regained its independence under the Braganza dynasty.
In the 18th century (Napoleonic Era), wars were very often between the major kingdoms and Portugal and Spain.
Although, Spain have a better record in history against Portugal but with Cristiano Ronaldo leading from the front for Portugal and the ongoing mayhem in the Spanish team, Ronaldo's team have an upper hand in the crucial World Cup encounter which is scheduled to be played on June 15, Friday.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)