Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Spain Sack Coach Lopetegui Days To World Cup

Spain Sack Coach Lopetegui Days To World Cup

Lopetegui was sacked Wednesday, two days before Spain's opening match against Portugal, because he accepted a job Tuesday to coach Real Madrid next season.

Fernando Hierro will take charge of La Roja during the competition.

The decision to remove Lopetegui appears to be at odds with how senior members of the national team feel.

The Spanish giants announced that the current Spanish national team boss Julen Lopetegui will take up the role at the Bernabeu after his commitment with them ends after this summer's World Cup in 2018.

"We have been obliged to fire the national coach", Rubiales said.

"But, after five minutes, I saw it in the press and we had to react".

"The negotiations have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release". If anybody wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us, too.

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"Real Madrid look for the best coach, that is fine by me".

His first task will be to ready the team for their opening game in Sochi on Friday, which will see them take on European champions and Iberian neighbours, Portugal.

Spain Sack Coach Lopetegui Days To World Cup
Spain Sack Coach Lopetegui Days To World Cup

"We are going to touch as little as possible", he said. We are working on it. All this is a big blow, but we are training again this afternoon, will stick together and move forward.

"I know him well, and I know that he represents whichever institution he is a part of very well".

"We thank Julen for everything that he has done, because he is a great person, who is responsible for us being in Russian Federation", the head of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales, said.

"You can't do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup".

As to what Hierro had said to the players, he said: "I told them we've got a fine challenge ahead".

Rubiales accused Lopetgui of betraying the federation's values.

"I admire Julen a lot, I respect him a lot, I think he's a top trainer and that makes it more hard to make the decision".

This comes a day after Lopetegui was named as the Real Madrid manager despite signing a 2-year contract extension with the Spanish FA on 22nd May. He coached second-division club Real Oviedo two seasons ago and was Malaga's general manager after leaving his sports director position with the Spanish federation in 2011.

He stated that the team was in a "very complicated" situation, but that he "trusted in the players".

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