Manager of Spain’s national soccer team sacked just before World Cup

Portugal vs Spain

Real Madrid have confirmed Spain coach Julen Lopetegui as Zinedine Zidane's successor, the 51-year-old taking over Los Blancos after the World Cup.

"The negotiations [between Lopetegui and Real Madrid] have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release". I have no opinion about how Real Madrid act.

The Spanish Football Association president, Luis Rubiales, was said to be fuming after the announcement only learning about it 15 minutes before Real made it public.

Rubiales said the players, who Spanish media said had tried to dissuade him from such drastic action, had vowed to give everything for the team.

Lopetegui did not attend the news conference in Krasnodar.

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Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Spain boss just two days ahead of their opening World Cup fixture and one day to the opening of the tournament. Lopetegui had recently signed a new deal with Spain on May 22 extending his contract until 2020.

"It is not the moment to talk, but we will take the decision that is best for the national team", Rubiales told reporters.

Rubiales, though, insists the squad is entirely focused on Friday's match against Portugal in Sochi.

"I do not feel betrayed, Lopetegui, while he has been with us, has done an impeccable job, another is how this has been done, without knowledge of the federation".

The club announces that Julen Lopetegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons. "We wish him the greatest of luck".

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However, despite many feeling that Lopetegui's connection with Real Madrid would cause friction within a already politically divided squad, the Iberian nation have gone and appointed a Real Madrid legend as their new coach in Fernando Hierro.

Lopetegui, unbeaten in 20 games as coach, winning 14 and drawing six, was sacked after being named as Real Madrid coach on Tuesday.

Although Lopetegui has done well with the Spanish national team, amassing their second-longest unbeaten streak of 20 games, he has limited experience at club level. We've come to fight for the World Cup.

"I admire and respect Lopetegui a lot".

In the first reaction to the decision, former Spain forward Juanito said Rubiales' arguments had been impeccable.

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"The announcement has not gone down well in the Spanish dressing room, apart from the Real players who have welcomed his arrival at the Bernabeu", said Barcelona-based newspaper Sport.

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