In an unprecedented move, the Royal Spanish Football Association (RFEF) have sacked national team head coach Julen Lopetegui 24 hours before the kick-off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia and he was replaced by the RFEF’s sporting director Fernando Hierro.
The RFEF came to the decision to fire Lopetegui as the 51-year-old had held negotiations with Real Madrid “without any information to the RFEF” the Spanish FA stated. RFEF president Luis Rubiales was reportedly informed by Lopetegui on his decision to join Real Madrid just five minutes before the official announcement by the Spanish LaLiga giants.
This sudden move resulted in Spain searching for a suitable and available candidate at short notice and they decided to appoint the Spanish national teams sporting director Fernando Hierro as the interim coach for the duration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Interesting to note is that Hierro himself is a Real Madrid legend, having won the UEFA Champions League title thrice and he also is said to have been on the Real Madrid shortlist to replace Zinedine Zidane.
Hierro conducted his first training session as Spain coach this afternoon after all the turmoil which led to the ouster of Lopetegui.
Spain kick-off their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign against Iberian rivals Portugal on Friday, June 15.