Spain sack manager Julen Lopetegui, appoints Fernando Hierro as Spain continue quest to win World Cup 2018
Spain have sacked Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup finals on Tuesday, furious that their head coach had completed a deal to join Real Madrid at Russia 2018.
The president of the Spanish FA (RFEF) Luis Rubiales confronted Real Madrid and is understood to have rejected the plea by the club’s players in the national team to save Lopetegui from getting the axe.
In one of the most unbelievable pre-tournament drama in the existence of the World Cup finals, Rubiales, a former leader of the Spanish players’ union, pointed at Madrid’s lack of respect shown to the RFEF. He said he only knew of Lopetegui’s decision to join the UEFA Champions League winners after the World Cup just five minutes before the club announced the deal on Tuesday.
Fernando Hierro was immediately appointed as Lopetegui's replacement, the former Madrid and Spain captain and the RFEF sporting director will be in charge for Friday’s crucial match against Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal in Sochi.
OFFICIAL | Fernando Hierro to assume role as Spain Head Coach for the 2018 Russia World Cup https://t.co/r2vHeLAKxS pic.twitter.com/2TZjVfFypQ— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 13, 2018