Pique summons spirit of Michigan '89 amid Spain's Lopetegui fiasco

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Spain and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique

Krasnodar, June 14: Gerard Pique is remaining defiant in the wake of Spain's chaotic World Cup build-up, drawing on Michigan's 1989 NCAA Championship-winning side as proof La Roja can prosper in Russia.

The 2010 champions were rocked on Tuesday (June 12) when it was announced head coach Julen Lopetegui would join Real Madrid after the finals.

Hierro to lead Spain at World Cup after Lopetegui sacking

Unwilling to let Lopetegui stay on for the tournament, the Royal Spanish Football Federation sacked the 51-year-old on Wednesday (June 13) and placed former captain Fernando Hierro in temporary charge.

And Pique, a world and European champion with Spain, is taking inspiration from Michigan's title 29 years ago, when the Wolverines sacked Bill Frieder - who had announced he would take up another coaching position after the Finals - before his replacement Steve Fisher guided the team to glory.

"University of Michigan. Basketball. 1989. NCAA Champion. It wouldn't be the first time it happened," Pique posted on Twitter.

"All together, now more than ever."

Spain get their campaign under way with a tough Group B test against Portugal on Friday (June 15), before clashes with Iran and Morocco.

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Thursday, June 14, 2018, 1:30 [IST]
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