Sports

Spain sack coach Julen Lopetegui a day before tournament starts

Spain sack coach Julen Lopetegui a day before tournament starts

Spain have sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup and just days after he was named as the new boss at Real Madrid.

At a severely delayed press conference at Spain's World Cup base in Krasnodar, Spanish football federation (RFEF) chief Luis Rubiales expressed dismay at the timing of events that threaten to derail Spain's World Cup chances.

Press Association Sport looked at five possible contenders to take the Spain job, following Lopetegui's appointment at the Bernabeu.

"The coach, while he is a RFEF employee can not do things in this way". We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid.

"We have been obliged to fire the national coach".

The 50-year-old former national team captain was appointed within hours of the announcement of Lopetegui's departure. I won't judge a club on how they act but, until a few minutes before, we were kept in the dark.

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"I think [federation president Luis] Rubiales acted correctly and was looking out for the federation, which should be above any single individual", Hernandez told Marca. "But perhaps that was already true and while they have lost much, including perhaps the tactical nuance and variations Lopetegui has introduced, this is a group of players who can still compete and have a certain capacity for self-management", added Lowe. "They've shown me they are "all in" here and I have no doubt they'll give their all whatever happens", he said.

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.

However, his coaching career had been far from distinguished before being handed the role as Spain coach after a last-16 exit at Euro 2016 brought Vicente del Bosque's eight-year reign to an end.

"We had to let [Lopetegui] go and send a message that this house will be defended and that no employee goes for free".

Lopetegui had a sterling tenure leading Spain. "We are the National Team, we represent a shield, colors, fans and a nation", he tweeted. "If we can't win the World Cup, the Spanish are now champions of dignity".

It remains very possible that the Spanish FA - known as the RFEF - will decide to terminate his employment as Spain boss, right on the brink of the World Cup.


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