‘It was like a bomb’: Spain fan hit hard by news of manager’s sacking

The sacking of Spain’s manager just one day before the World Cup begins has hit one fan like a “bomb”.

Marco Mathe, from Madrid, said he thought the departure of Julen Lopetegui would harm Spain’s chances.

And he said the timing of the announcement that Lopetegui would be Real Madrid’s new coach was wrong.

He was speaking near Red Square, in Moscow, where he and his friends have been for several days before flying out to Sochi for Spain’s first game against rivals Portugal.

The Real Madrid fan said: “It was like a bomb this morning, one day before the World Cup starts.

“It was really difficult for us in Spain to understand.

“At the end World Cups are won by 23 men so it’s going to affect us at the beginning but we will still have our chances.

“I still see Spain winning the World Cup.”

Former Spain and Real Madrid captain Fernando Hierro has moved from his role as the team’s director of football to take charge.

Asked if Lopetegui was the right man to replace Zinedine Zidane, who left after winning his third Champions League title in a row, Mr Mathe said: “It’s not the coach I would prefer for Real Madrid but still, we’ve got a coach.

“I don’t think it was the moment to say it but that’s the news so we have to accept it.”

The centre of Moscow has been gripped by football fever as fans descended from other nations, including many from Saudi Arabia, who sang loudly in the shadow of the Kremlin on the eve of their opening match against Russia.

- Press Association

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