Sergio Ramos Will Continue to Lead Spain
There have been a number of players who have announced their retirement from international football post-2018 World Cup with the likes of Javier Mascherano, Sardar Azmoun and Andres Iniesta all calling time on their international careers. The latter has played his last match for Spain on July 1st unlike teammate Sergio Ramos, who has vowed to fight on.
Spain were expected to reach the latter stages of the competition but crashed out of the tournament to hosts Russia. La Roja were pedestrian throughout the 90 minutes and Iago Aspas’ decisive penalty miss sent Fernando Hierro’s men home in the round of 16.
Their World Cup campaign got off to a tumultuous start with Julen Lopetegui’s sacking just a day before the tournament got underway and it didn’t improve much after that. They won just one of their four matches in Russia with their narrow 1-0 success over Iran considered a fortunate result – their opponents having a goal overruled by VAR.
Their time at the tournament was blighted by individual errors and Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique were caught out on a number of occasions against Morocco. The 32-year-old was in tears following their exit but he sent a defiant message to his followers on Twitter. He suggested that Spain will return even stronger in four years time saying “…we’ll all defend this shirt with passion and respect,” before adding, “in defeat, I feel even more proud of being Spanish”.
Some critics had suggested that Ramos may opt to follow Iniesta in hanging up his international boots but he told reporters, “I would like to carry on playing for Spain for many more years,” and declared, “I’m going to have to go to Qatar with a grey beard if necessary”.
Spain’s conquerors, Russia, are priced at 20.00 with 888sport to lift the trophy in Moscow on July 15th, whilst the hosts can also be backed at 3.74 with Sports Interaction to beat Croatia in 90 minutes in Sochi on July 7th.
Quique Sanchez Flores Linked with the Spain Job
Fernando Hierro is likely to step down from his temporary position in charge of the Spanish national team following their exit from the competition. They didn’t lose any of their four matches under his stewardship but they only picked up five points from a possible nine in the group stage.
A number of names have been linked with the vacancy, including former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores. He is believed to be their number-one target this summer as they aim to get back on track following a disappointing tournament.
If the 53-year old was to accept the job, he would be tasked with galvanising the squad ahead of the UEFA Nations League, which gets underway in September. Spain face England at Wembley and have already been priced up as the 2.20 favourites with Betway.