World Cup 2018: Spain sack manager two days before match

Find out who takes over

Just two days before their opening World Cup match against Portugal, Spain’s coach Julen Lopetegui has been sensationally sacked today after the country’s federation said he failed to tell them he had agreed to join Real Madrid after the tournament.

Lopetegui had only recently extended his contract with Spain. Spain sporting director Fernando Hierro has been named as his replacement.

The head of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales told media: “The coach, while he is a RFEF employee cannot do things in this way. I found out with a phone call five minutes before the official announcement. We feel obliged to take this decision.”

“If anyone wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us, too. It’s that basic. This is a Spain national team that represents all Spaniards, it’s the most important team we have and the World Cup is the biggest stage of them all.

“I don’t feel betrayed, the problem is that things have been done with the complete absence of the RFEF, which is something (we) cannot let go by,” he added.

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