Spain Sack Lopetegui On Eve Of World Cup

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Julen Lopetegui - who was surprisingly announced as the new Real Madrid manager on Tuesday - was sacked on Wednesday morning.

"We thank Julen for everything that he has done, because he is a great person, who is responsible for us being in Russian Federation", the head of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales, said. We've got a great opportunity and that has to be the focus.

"You can't do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup".

Rubiales, the former head of Spain's players union who was elected as federation president last month, said he was forced to fire Lopetegui because he had been left in the dark by his coach and by Madrid. We are working on it.

"I saw it in the press, it had already happened, and because of my responsibility, I know that whatever I do, there will be criticism".

"We are in a very complicated situation, but the players and the new coaching staff will do everything in their power to take the team as far as possible".

"To win is very important, to have the best coach is very important, but above everything is acting in the right way". Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.

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But now, several outlets, including Spanish publication Footbal Espana are reporting that Spain are considering sacking the 51-year-old.

"As players themselves with Spain, they know how they are going to play every time they go on the pitch".

Julen Lopetegui will replace Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid manager.

"I think Rubiales acted correctly and was looking out for the federation, which should be above any single individual", Hernandez told sports daily Marca. The 1998 World Cup had seen three managerial casualties in the form of Henryk Kasperczak, Carlos Alberto Parreira and Cha Bum-kun, then coaches of Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, respectively.

Former Real Madrid and Bolton star Hierro will be in the dugout on Friday when Spain open their Group B campaign against Portugal.

Lopetegui's dismissal will nearly certainly have an unsettling effect on Spain's preparations for the tournament, but at least one Spaniard seems to have a positive outlook.

After Madrid's announcement that it hired Lopetegui, critics immediately began questioning some of the coach's decisions with the national team, including his choice to leave some Barcelona players such as Sergi Roberto out of the World Cup squad.

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