FIFA World Cup 2018: Fernando Hierro replaces Julen Lopetegui as national coach before start of World Cup

FIFA World Cup 2018: Fernando Hierro replaces Julen Lopetegui as national coach before start of World Cup

Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Spain's national coach just two days before their opening match against Portugal in FIFA World Cup.

FIFA World Cup 2018
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has been ousted a day before the start of World Cup. (AP Photo/File)

Spain football association announced technical director Fernando Hierro as the national coach, hours after the sacking of Julen Lopetegui. Lopetegui was announced as the Real Madrid coach on Tuesday. The announcement came just a day before the start of the World Cup in Russia, and two days before Spain’s opening game against Portugal. Speaking to the media, Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales expressed dissatisfaction over Lopetegui not informing the association members regarding his decision to take over the reigns as Real Madrid coach.

“We have to decided to fire the national coach [Lopetegui]. What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck. The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards. We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid,” he said.

He further slammed Real Madrid for not speaking to Lopetegui without their consultation. “Real Madrid look for the best coach, that is fine by me. I have no opinion about how Real Madrid act. But the federation have an obligation, to represent all Spaniards,” he said.

“If anybody wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us too, that is basic, as this is the team of all Spaniards. The national team is the most important we have, the WC is the biggest of all,” he further added.

On being questioned regarding who will be stepping up to take the reigns as the Spain coach in the World Cup, Rubiales said, “We are going to touch as little as possible. We are working on it. When we know we will tell you,” he said.


Real Madrid on Tuesday announced that Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager on a three-year contract after the World Cup. The former defender, who last month signed a new contract through to 2020 with Spain, spent three years with Real as a player. He took as Spain coach in 2016 following the retirement of Vicente Del Bosque who led the country to victory in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.