The world of football took no time at all to react to the shock news that Spain had sacked manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the Russia World Cup.
Lopetegui had recently agreed on a deal to become the replacement for Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid following the conclusion of the tournament, but the Spanish football association have taken it upon themselves to relieve him of his position.
A press conference was called on Wednesday morning, where it was announced the 51-year-old would be removed from the helm, despite Spain’s opening fixture against rivals Portugal looming.
Social media was soon awash with reaction, as the football world tried to comprehend what had happened. Among the first to respond – Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas was overlooked by Lopetegui for the Russia tournament, despite a solid season in west London.
Still perhaps aggrieved by the decision, Fabregas took to Twitter to quip: ‘Wait, maybe I will get a call up now!’
Talk quickly turned to thoughts of who could potentially take up the job at such short notice, with journalist and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan pondering a very familiar name.
‘Imagine if [Arsene] Wenger is now hired as emergency manager of Spain.. and wins the World Cup. Now that would be amusing,’ wrote Morgan.
England legend and broadcaster Gary Lineker came straight in with the jokes, giving his reaction of: ‘Lopetegui: The reign with Spain stays mainly on the plane.’
Fans quickly had their say via the social media platform, with one offering the pessimistic outlook: ‘Spain’s World Cup is about to end even before it starts!.’
Others saw the humour in the fact the Spanish FA have given themselves so little time to find a way out of their predicament.
Chelsea star tips England to be in World Cup final but lose out to his side
Eden Hazard has tipped England to reach the World Cup final – but get beaten by his Belgium side at the final hurdle.
The two will meet in the Group Stages in Russia on June 28 with both harbouring hopes of winning the group and potentially get an easier route to the final, although the winners will most likely face Brazil in the quarter-finals while the loser will probably face Germany at the same stage.
England’s game with Belgium in Kaliningrad with almost certainly decide the group winner, but Chelsea’s talisman reckons his country will have enough about them to see off England and win the group.
Over on his Instagram page, Hazard has predicted what he thinks the knockout stages of the World Cup in Russia will look like – backing his Belgium team to go all the way and lift the trophy in Moscow on July 15.
He reckons that Belgium will beat Poland in the last 16 before knocking out one of the pre-tournament favourites, Brazil, in the quarterfinals, with France their victims in the semis.
England, on the other hand, has been tipped by Hazard to beat Colombia and Germany, before knocking out Argentina in the semifinals to face Belgium in the last game of the tournament.
But it isn’t good news for his Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill in the final, with Hazard backing Belgium to break English hearts with victory in the World Cup.
However, Hazard limped off in Belgium’s final warm-up game – a 4-1 victory over Costa Rica – although boss Roberto Martinez was quick to brush off any fears over his World Cup.
He said: “Eden is okay, he had a little trouble, but it’s nothing to worry about.
“I really enjoyed his performance. He was sharp and strong, he was majestic. At the end, he just came off because he had a little bit of a dead leg, a little bit of a knock on his leg.”