Spain sacks coach on eve of World Cup

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The news comes just two days before Spain's first game of the World Cup and in the wake of Real Madrid announcing that Lopetigui would be taking over as the club's manager after the World Cup.

Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales said a replacement would be announced "soon".

"The negotiations have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release".

The Spanish FA president and former Hamilton Academical defender Luis Rubiales explaining the decision to terminate Lopetegui's contract.

"We are left in a complicated situation", Rubiales said. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.

The announcement initially claimed that the 51-year-old would take the reins at Santiago Bernabeu after the conclusion of the tournament, but La Roja have acted now after making the announcement at a press conference in Krasnodar.

Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Portugal on Friday in a match live on BBC One (19:00 BST kick-off).

"There's a lot to do".

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The Spanish giants have been on the hunt for a new manager ever since Zidane surprisingly stepped down last month, just days after winning his third consecutive Champions League trophy. The Spanish team is the team of all Spain.

Lopetegui was appointed Spain's coach in July 2016 and never tasted defeat in the job, leading the team through 20 unbeaten games ahead of the World Cup.

Spain named Fernando Hierro as its World Cup coach later Wednesday.

"Many of the staff are still with us and we've watched videos about the upcoming match, so we have to be intelligent and coherent".

A star midfielder for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, he has also coached Roma, Celta Vigo and returned to the Nou Camp as head coach. I know it's a very hard situation, I know there's going to be criticism whatever I do, but the values of the RFEF are set by the RFEF itself.

"The circumstances are what they are and from now on I accept the responsibility bravely, it can't be any other way".

Spain's first game at the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup is against neighbours Portugal on Friday. 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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