ESPN FC’s Stewart Robson assesses the fallout of Julen Lopetegui’s sacking and believes new Spain boss Fernando Hierro has quite the challenge ahead.

Fernando Hierro revealed he couldn’t let his country down after he was appointed Spain manager following Julen Lopetegui’s sacking.

ESPN FC’s Stewart Robson and Alexis Nunes put their prognostication skills to the test for the first four matches of the World Cup.

Spain defender Gerard Pique cited an odd precedence for Spain’s World Cup hopes in the wake of firing their coach on the eve of the tournament — University of Michigan basketball.

The Spanish federation on Wednesday decided to sack coach Julen Lopetegui after he agreed to take over as manager of Real Madrid once the World Cup ended.

The move has threatened to push the team into turmoil just days before their opener against Portugal, but Pique has found inspiration in American college basketball.

“University of Michigan. Basketball. 1989. NCAA Champion. It wouldn’t be the first time it happened,” Pique wrote on Twitter. “All together, now more than ever.”

Almost 30 years ago, Michigan faced nearly the same situation as Spain when coach Bill Frieder announced before the NCAA tournament that he would leave after the season to take over Arizona State.

Michigan decided to fire Frieder immediately and promoted assistant coach Steve Fisher, who led the 3-seeded Wolverines to the national title.

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