Spain sack coach one day to World Cup kick off

Florentino Perez and Zidane

Luis Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), confirmed the news at a delayed news conference in Krasnodar on Wednesday.

However, according to reports in the Spanish media, the players tried to intervene at the last minute to prevent Rubiales sacking Lopetegui.

The chaos continued when it was reported U21 boss Albert Celades would take charge of the sinking ship in Russian Federation, only for RFEF director of football Fernando Hierro, a former Real defender, to be officially named as manager an hour later.

Il Corriere dello Sport: Earthquake in Spain. In quotes to Marca, Xavi's said that "Lopetegui's decision, for me, was inopportune, unexpected and rushed". Madrid has unleashed this furious reaction of the federation.

Mundo Deportivo: Lopetegui sacked two days before the debut.

Rubiales then held meetings with Lopetegui to ascertain how negotiations between his agent and Real Madrid had reached such an advanced stage without the permission of the Spanish FA. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger. But less than a day later he finds himself turfed out of the Spain camp.

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

Bild: Earthquake in Spain.

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When Diego Maradona was sent home after testing positive for a banned drug during the 1994 World Cup, Argentina never recovered and were knocked out by Romania in the second round.

Later Wednesday, Spain named Hierro as the coach for the tournament in Russian Federation. Plenty of countries have gone into tournaments in the past and had success despite knowing their manager will leave immediately afterwards.

Lopetegui was surprisingly named Real Madrid manager on Tuesday and was meant to take charge at the Santiago Bernabeu after the tournament.

Lopetegui has signed a three-year deal to succeed Zinedine Zidane with the Champions League holders and it was decided that in the circumstances it was inappropriate for him to continue with Spain. "This is not the best solution but in life you can not escape your responsibilities", said Rubiales.

A Bola: Lopetegui, sacked two days before the World Cup.

The 50-year-old Hierro, a former national team player and Real Madrid captain, will be taking on his first major coaching job.

He had spells in Qatar and England before retiring and has held a number of roles, including Sporting Director at Malaga and the Spanish FA as well as serving as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Real in his final season.

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