Madrid is bigger than Spain

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published

What is the worst thing a national team can do just days before the World Cup? I think you know the answer, leaving them without a coach. After two years of preparation for the World Cup, Julen Lopetegui left the Spanish national team to become Real Madrid's next coach. What is even worse is that the head of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales was informed only minutes before the official announcement. The only thing I understand from this story is that Real Madrid is bigger than the Spanish national team, the World Cup and years of hard work.

There is no doubt that Lopetegui is the first person to blame for Spain's horrible entrance to the World Cup. However, Real Madrid should have made the offer after the World Cup is over. I would understand if Real Madrid was a relatively weak club and they did not have the chance to sign Lopetegui after the tournament, especially if Spain did well, but they are Real Madrid. They are among the top teams in Spain, Europe and the World. There would not be much competition if they offered him deal after the World Cup, since there are not many teams in Real Madrid's class that are looking for a coach.

Still, Real Madrid conducted a covert operation to sign Lopetegui, leaving the Spanish national team in total chaos. It was obvious that no one would accept such a thing, 48 hours before the World Cup begins. Spain fired Lopetegui and replaced him with Fernando Hierro, but the aftermath of this Game of Thrones style plot will definitely hurt Spain in the tournament.

The question is who is going to be held accountable for wasting Spain's years of work for this tournament? Justice requires that there has to be a consequence for this action. I argue that Spain should fine Real Madrid and Julen Lopetegui for their unethical behavior. There must be a consequence of leaving a team and federation staff hours before a tournament, essentially throwing their efforts into the trashcan.

Fernando Hierro might be successful, but it's hard to know. It was Lopetegui who was given the time and resources to form a team. Now all the strategies and tactics of the team are going to be determined by a different mind. Regardless of the quality of Hierro, it is a simple fact that a team is better prepared to play a game that they have been working on for two years, and 48 hours is simply not enough to do anything noticeable. Regardless of the Spanish national team's performance in the tournament, Real Madrid and Julen Lopetegui must be fined for their actions.

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