FIFA World Cup 2018: Julen Lopetegui was sacked as the head coach of Spain ahead of clash against Portugal on Friday in Sochi. The Spaniard on Tuesday had agreed to take charge as Real Madrid's coach.
FIFA World Cup 2018: In a shocking decision, Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui as their head coach a day before the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2018. The Spaniard on Tuesday had agreed to take charge as Real Madrid’s coach. Lopetegui has signed a three-year contract with Los Blancos and will succeed Zinedine Zidane. According to a report by the Guardian, the Spanish Football Association president, Luis Rubiales, was supposed to attend the FIFA’s congress in Moscow on Wednesday. However, he flew to Spain’s training base late on Tuesday night to deal with the matter.
“We have been forced to dispense with the national coach. We wish him the greatest of luck,” said Rubiales. “The negotiations have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release. There’s a way to act that needs to be fulfilled.”
Spain play their opening Group B match against Portugal in Sochi on Friday. Spain were unbeaten in 20 matches since Lopetegui took over following Euro 2016. Reportedly, Spain’s sporting director Fernando Hierro and Spanish U21 coach Albert Celades would be in contention to succeed Lopetegui as the head coach of the La Roja.