Spain coach Julen Lopetegui fired two days before World Cup debut

Winners and losers from Portugal v Spain

Winners and losers from Portugal v Spain

Rubiales was furious with Lopetegui for talking to Real Madrid before the World Cup and then by the announcement from the reigning European champions that they had appointed the former Porto boss as their new coach.

The club on Tuesday poached Spanish national team coach Julen Lopetegui just two days before the start of the World Cup in Russian Federation.

"Negotiating is legitimate but it took place without the RFEF being informed until five minutes before a press statement was released". I have no opinion about how Real Madrid act.

"There are decisions that we are obliged to take based on an understanding of how you should behave and on ethics", Rubiales said.

"It's a hard situation, but we are not the ones who determined the action that had to be taken", he said. We have been forced to make this decision.

"There's a lot to do".

The 50-year-old Hierro's only real coaching experience came when he was in charge of second division Spanish outfit Oviedo for one season. Lopetegui had on May 22 renewed his contract as Spain coach until 2020.

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.

The decision to sack the manager less than 48 hours before Spain's first group game with Portugal has stunned fans back home. I am sure Julen would have preferred it another way, and we wish him the best.

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"We are the national team".

"New York Times: Spain, one of the favourites to win the World Cup, enter into chaos just two days before their inauguration".

The country's soccer federation fired Lopetegui for agreeing to join Real Madrid after the Russia mundial.

Spain begin their World Cup campaign against neighbours Portugal on Friday, but who will be in the dugout for La Roja remains to be seen.

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

Spain's players, led by national team and Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, were reportedly in favour of Lopetegui staying on for the tournament. He is a top coach for me, which made the decision very hard. Rubiales repeatedly dodged questions over whether he had taken their advice before making the decision to fire the coach.

Rubiales accused Lopetgui of betraying the federation's values.

"We want to thank Julen for all he's done and he's a big reason behind us being in Russian Federation, but we feel obliged to dispense with his services", he said.


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