Spain sack coach Julen Lopetegui a day before tournament starts

Villas-Boas

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

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 have been obliged to act".

The Manchester Evening News claim Real president Florentino Perez is so confident his side will seal the transfer, he has openly spoken about making De Gea the world's first £100m goalkeeper.

Ahead of the World Cup, Lopetegui extended his contract as Spain coach until 2020 in what was a pre-World Cup boost for one of the tournament favourites. "There's a lot to do".

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

The development came a day after it emerged he would be replacing Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid manager in time for next season.

The 50-year-old is Spain's sporting director and his only managerial experience is a year in charge of Oviedo.

Was roster influenced by move to Real?

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.

In a surprise announcement on yesterday, Real Madrid named Lopetegui as their next manager to start work after the tournament in Russia, sparking outrage among the federation and Spanish fans at the timing of the announcement.

Later Wednesday, Spain named Hierro as the coach for the tournament in Russian Federation.

But Benitez has commented on the prospect of taking the Spanish job in the past. He is a top coach for me, which made the decision very hard. The players, especially captain Sergio Ramos, tried to convince Rubiales, who made the decision. "If I wasn't sure that we couldn't have a great tournament, I wouldn't be here", Hierro said. It has not lost a match since a 2-0 loss Italy in the European Championships round of 16 almost two years ago. Nobody gives anything away at a World Cup'.

To think, Spain play their opening game against Portugal.

Spanish football expert Balague says after links with Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte had been quashed, it was anybody's guess who Real would appoint. He was sacked after failing to win a title during nearly two years in Portugal.

Rubiales took over a federation which was in the hands of embattled official Angel Maria Villar for almost three decades.

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