Spain fired its coach two days before first World Cup game

2018 FIFA World Cup Day 2 Recap Cristiano Ronaldo takes center stage

2018 FIFA World Cup Day 2 Recap Cristiano Ronaldo takes center stage

Real Madrid had announced that Julen Lopetegui would be their coach after the World Cup, prompting Spain to axe Lopetegui.

"My message is: "We have a magnificent team and hopefully we can go to win the World Cup" but I cannot say any more than that". I am sure Julen would have preferred it another way, and we wish him the best.

Julen Lopetegui speaks with Pique.

"The federation can not be left out of a negotiation by one of its workers and be informed five minutes before the press release", Rubiales said. "There's a way to act that needs to be fulfilled".

The Spanish FA will now look to finalise a replacement coach in a matter of hours. We asked Eurosport's Adrian Garcia for his take on the biggest managerial change of the summer. We are working on it. We have a responsibility. According to The Guardian, he said: "I have spoken with the players and I can guarantee they will do everything, along with the new coach, to take the team as far as possible".

Spain begin their campaign to regain the trophy from holders Germany on Friday evening, when they take on Portugal, with Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia set to open the tournament on Thursday afternoon.

"What the Spanish team achieves, will have to do with the work he has developed", Rubiales told reporters at a press conference in Krasnodar.

Lopetegui's unceremonious exit resulted from the announcement of his appointment as the next Real Madrid manager on Tuesday.

Already part of the backroom staff in Russian Federation, he is understood to have a good relationship with the squad, and as an 89-cap veteran of the national team nobody can suggest he does not know how tournament football works.

Diego Costa provided a constant threat for Portugal | Source Getty Images via
Diego Costa provided a constant threat for Portugal | Source Getty Images via

"Players are used to coaches coming and going".

A goalkeeper in his playing days, he has previously been involved with Real Madrid, moving from his native Basque country to play with Castilla in 1985 and even making one appearance for the first team.

Rumours are already circulating as to who may take over the 2010 World Cup winners with a number of names reportedly in the frame.

As manager of Barcelona he won two more league titles and one Champions League crown.

As for Hierro, who has been somewhat parachuted into the spotlight, he insists Spain are still contenders for the World Cup.

After short spells at Rayo Vallecano and with Madrid's youth team Real Madrid Castilla, Lopetegui enjoyed a successful time with Spain's under-19s and under-21s.

Spain named Fernando Hierro as its World Cup coach later Wednesday.

Ahead of the World Cup, Lopetegui extended his contract as Spain coach until 2020 in what was a pre-World Cup boost for one of the tournament favourites.

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