Spain Sack Lopetegui On Eve Of World Cup

Real Madrid appoints Julen Lopetegui as coach for next three seasons

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui was sensationally sacked on Wednesday, two days before their opening World Cup match, for failing to tell his federation about his move to Real Madrid after the tournament and replaced by Fernando Hierro.

Hierro, who had a spell in charge of Real Oviedo in the 2016/17 season, steps in after a day of high drama in the Spanish squad, with Lopetegui and senior players all staging meetings with Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales.

Rubiales revealed things may have been different had he known earlier on about negotiations between Real and Lopetegui, who departs with 14 wins and six draws in his 20 games as Spain coach. We can not remain on the sidelines of a negotiation of one of its workers and find out five minutes before the issuance of a statement.

"We are in a very complicated situation, but the players and the new coaching staff will do everything in their power to take the team as far as possible".

Julen Lopetegui's removal from the role came as a surprise to everyone, and there are reports that members of the dressing room appealed to Luis Rubiales not to fire him, so Hierro will have to attempt to bring the team back together in this crucial time. It's safe to say though, that this certainly is a bad look on the coach, who didn't appear to be transparent in his intentions.

Rubiales inferred he felt Lopetegui's decision to join Madrid so close to the start of the tournament "obliged" him to take drastic action.

The 51-year-old was named as Real Madrid's new manager on Tuesday - then fired by his national team 24 hours later. We've watched the videos for the next game and we need to use our brains, be coherent and, anyway, between now and Portugal there's not much room for change.

Xavi, a 133-time Spain worldwide, was unhappy with the timing of the announcement of Lopetegui's Madrid move.

"But, after five minutes, I saw it in the press and we had to react". Others believe the chaos on the eve of the World Cup just made a bad situation worse. We are working on it.

Spain will face Portugal in their first Group B match on Saturday (AEST). "I know the circumstances and Julen's work has been fantastic and I wish him all the best", he said.

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