Spain head coach Fernando Hierro steps down following World Cup exit

Rafa Benitez-Spain

Rafa Benitez-Spain

Fernando Hierro is cutting all ties with the Spain setup.

Worrying the announcement might cause disarray in the squad the Spanish FA decided to make sure there was disarray by sacking him and having Hierro take over, whose only previous managerial experience was at Oviedo in the second division.

Hierro, 50, was sensationally appointed Spain coach on the eve of the tournament, after previous boss Julen Lopetegui was sacked for agreeing to take the Real Madrid job.

Hierro was named caretaker manager as La Roja were dumped out at the round of 16 stage by hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

After a disastrous World Cup campaign, in which Spain only won one match - against Iran - Hierro decided against staying in the role and will not return to his old position as sporting director.

"After many kilometres of walking together, the Royal Spanish Football Federation and Fernando Hierro put an end to their relationship once the participation of Spain in the World Cup in Russia ended.

The Federation would also like to highlight the professional and human values shown by an extraordinary sportsman to whom it wishes the best of luck for the future". However, they conceded a late equaliser against Portugal and trailed Morocco 1-0 and 2-1 before scraping a draw in injury time.

"Thanks for everything, Fernando!" the statement from Spanish Football Federation's official website read in part.

In Russia, Spain topped Group B under Hierro.

Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is to be named as the new Spain coach, according to widespread reports in the Spanish media on Monday.

Lopetegui's decision to have accepted Real Madrid job masterminded the rationale for him to have been axed by the Spanish Football Federation chiefs.

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