Thirty two teams from around the globe fight for the prestigious world cup but there are very few teams that are considered as favourites to lift it. Many consider Spain as one of them. The 2010 World cup winners had a terrific qualifying campaign on their way to Russia. They won 9 out of 10 games . But things are not going the way they have predicted in the competition so far . A draw against Portugal followed by a second half goal against Iran giving them three points in their second group game. Spain have the squad on paper to win the world cup but realistically they lack the prowess to get their hands on the cup because of various other factors that influence the atmosphere in the Spanish camp right now.
Firing of Julen Lopetegui
Lopetegui has taken over a Spanish national team that struggled since 2012 and brought back their dominating performances in the international stage. Absence of that coach will clearly be felt in a tournament like this where coach has the uphill task of getting players from different teams with different playing styles and get them under a single roof to get desired results.
CHEMISTRY AND LOCKER ROOM
La Furia Roja won three major tournaments in a row from 2008 to 2012. Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012. Then the squad played miserably in the following two competitions. They did not go past the group stage in 2014 World Cup followed by a 2-0 loss to Italy in Euro 2016.
This was the reason Lopetegui was brought in as the coach . He did a commendable job so far until his sacking. The team is used to his coaching tactics and even the team has been chosen by him that matches his tactical decisions. Spain have won the qualifying rounds with him and now having a different coach at helm will definitely lower the morale of the players. The new coach will have a different thing going on in his mind and that will take time for the players to fit in to.
REAL MADRID AND BARCELONA RIFT
The rivalry between the two biggest clubs in Europe is felt across the entire globe almost all the time. For years we have heard that players from one or the other club have dominated the Spanish national team. From 2008 to 2012, the Spanish national team has been dominated by Barcelona players who at that time were dominating Europe under Pep Guardiola. The focus has recently shifted towards Real Madrid players who have won three UEFA Champions League trophies in a row. With Real Madrid pulling this wonderful act of hiring Julen Lopetegui, thus shifting his focus away from the national team and the world cup , the rest of the players will definitely be not be okay with it. If the mentality of Real Madrid vs rest of the squad prevails then the Locker room is destroyed beyond repair for now. Forget about near future, this will affect the performance of the team in this very tournament.
After sacking Julen Lopetegui one day before the tournament kicking off, the Spanish Football Federation hired Fernando Hierro as the national team coach.
Hierro is a Spanish National Team and Real Madrid legend but he has a poor coaching resume. He does not have the CV to match that of a national team coach leading his team into the World Cup.