Spanish soccer player cites Michigan basketball as inspiration ahead of World Cup

Gerard Pique references Michigan basketball's 1989 championship team

Gerard Pique (Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique gave the University of Michigan basketball program a shoutout Wednesday as his team prepares for the World Cup.

Spain sacked coach Julen Lopetegui after he announced he would take over as manager of Real Madrid after the World Cup ends. Spain was left without a coach just two days before its opener against Portugal.

Sporting director Fernando Hierro was named the team's coach for the World Cup.

While that would appear to make things even more difficult for Spain in the World Cup, Pique said they still have a chance.

"University of Michigan. Basketball. 1989. NCAA champion," Pique tweeted Wednesday. "It wouldn't be the first time it happened. All together, now more than ever."

Pique is referring to the Wolverines team that fired coach Bill Frieder right before the NCAA Tournament because he had accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State.

Assistant coach Steve Fisher was promoted and led Michigan to the national championship.

Pique is hoping Spain can pull off a similar run.

The Michigan basketball program has gotten plenty of praise the last several years, but its most recent national championship team probably didn't expect to hear from a Spanish soccer star this week.

Copyright 2018 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.