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Luis Rubiales, Spanish football boss always courting controversy

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Luis Rubiales
Luis Rubiales. Photo/The Telegraph
  • Luis Rubiales Jenni Hermoso incident made him an unpopular celebrity
  • Rubiales stirred controversy after kissing Hermoso at the celebration ceremony of the Spanish FIFA World Cup team
  • Pressure is mounting for him to quit even as he says that it was an emotional moment

Luis Rubiales Jenni Hermoso incident made him an unpopular celebrity the fact that he is the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president notwithstanding.

Rubiales stirred controversy after kissing Hermoso at the celebration ceremony of Spanish FIFA World Cup team. Since then, the 46-year-old has been at the eye of a storm with criticism all over. Pressure is mounting for him to quit even as he says that it was an emotional moment and there is nothing much to it.

Hermoso who was among the Spanish team that played England in the Women’s FIFA World Cup final said that she didn’t like it. Hermoso and the rest of the team say that they won’t play under him until he exits office. Nevertheless, FIFA has instituted a legal process to suspend him from office for a period of 90 days. Still, who is Luis Rubiales Jenni Hermoso?


Luis Rubiales

LuisSkySports Rubiales hugs Jenni Hermoso. Photo/

Rubiales is a Canary Islands native born in 1977. He grew up on the Spanish mainland and loved football from an early age. He finally made it to the big stage as a defender. He played lower-league football in Spain for Mallorca B, Lleida, and Xerez before assisting Levante in getting promoted. The suspended RFEF president participated in 53 La Liga games for Levante between 2004–05 and 2007–08.

However, his controversy started off early as he took the helm of a strike by Levante players over unpaid salaries some years back. Prior to joining Scottish club Hamilton Academical, Rubiales spent a season playing for Alicante in the second tier. In August 2009, the fullback, who was 32 at the time, played for Accies in three Scottish Premier League matches.

He also played one League Cup encounter but lost forcing him to leave the team two weeks after joining the team. It would later emerge that family factors also played out in all this.


Rubiales in 2018 told the Daily Mail that Accies anticipated that he would ask them to pay him his full contract but all he wanted was his pay for two weeks which he played for the team. They couldn’t believe it and they suggested that he remain on the coaching staff and he loved how well they treated him.

He said that he left Spain because footballers were going through a hard time because clubs were not paying their players. Yet he was at his best physically.

“Physically I was still in good shape but I left because in Spain there were lots of footballers going through a situation like the one I had gone through [at Levante and Alicante] where clubs were in administration and players were not being paid.

“Every day there were more and more players calling. Xavi Oliva, who was a goalkeeper at Villarreal, told me: ‘Luis, you have to come and be our leader, we need you’” he recalls.


In March 2010, Rubiales, was elected president of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE). Surprisingly, his tenure was smooth, unlike the now Luis Rubiales Jenni Hermoso controversy. However, Tamara Ramos, a director of marketing and business development at the AFE who worked under Rubiales, reportedly asserted that she sued Rubiales and quit the organization after repeated humiliation.

 Rubiales hugs Jenni Hermoso

Luis Rubiales. FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

In a statement, the RFEF criticized Ramos stating that she was taking advantage of Rubiales’ controversy to push her agenda.  After six years, the now embattled Spanish Football Federation president resigned in 2017 from AFE to vie for the Spanish FA boss job.


Luckily for him, he successfully made it as Spanish FA president in 2018 and many people argue that this was the beginning of Luis Rubiales Jenni Hermoso controversy. He fired the then-Spanish national team manager Julen Lopetegui two days before Spain’s World Cup opening.

This followed his consent to become Real Madrid’s manager after the World Cup.  This move was mostly perceived as a political power move by Rubiales. He seized the chance to demonstrate that the federation would not be intimidated by anyone, even their most illustrious club.

Years later, he cuts an image of a man who is no pushover and even amid Hermoso’s drama, he insists that he will not back out.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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