Spain sack coach Julen Lopetegui a day before tournament starts

Kristopher Nichols
June 14, 2018

Lopetegui, 51, was dismissed two days before their first World Cup game after Spanish football chiefs said it was not involved in his negotiations to become Real Madrid boss.

Spain delayed a press conference at the Krasnodar Stadium by more than an hour before Rubiales, who played for Hamilton Academical in 2009, announced the decision.

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.

Rubiales had been riled by being told of Lopetegui's decision to take the Real job just five minutes before it was made public.

"You can't change two days of work in two days and a large part of the technical team is staying here with us too".

"It's a hard situation, but we are not the ones who determined the action that had to be taken", he said.

One of the pre-tournament favourites, Spain's World Cup hopes are now in disarray and, although Rubiales claimed the decision "will make us stronger", it is hard to see how La Roja can recover from such a blow just two days before their bow at Russian Federation 2018.

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News that Lopetegui would be joining Real Madrid had left many players indignant and perplexed, particularly those who do not play for the capital's team.

The announcement came just a day before the start of the World Cup in Russian Federation, and two days before Spain's opening game against Portugal.

"There's a lot to do".

He has kept Spain unbeaten through 20 matches in charge and guided it to a first-place finish in a qualifying group that included Italy for the 2018 World Cup. It's the Spanish team. We are working on it.

Lopetegui never lost a game in charge of the national team (14 wins, six draws) but caused controversy earlier this week when he agreed to manage Real Madrid at the conclusion of the World Cup. Spain will take on Euro 2016 winners Portugal in what promises to be one of the ties of the group stages.

However, there are fears his appointment could open up old divisions between the Real Madrid and Barcelona factions in the Spain squad. "When we know we will tell you", he said.

They have now announced Lopetegui will take over.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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