Spain appoint Hierro following Lopetegui sacking | The Daily Star
04:34 PM, June 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:41 PM, June 13, 2018

Spain appoint Hierro following Lopetegui sacking

Spain on Wednesday named federation sporting director Fernando Hierro as its World Cup coach to replace Julen Lopetegui, who was sensationally sacked after his appointment as Real Madrid manager.

"Fernando Hierro will assume coaching responsibilities at the World Cup in Russia," the Spanish football federation announced.

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The 50-year-old Hierro's only real coaching experience came when he was in charge of second division Spanish outfit Oviedo for one season.

Earlier today, the Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales announced that Lopetegui was being fired because he could not accept an RFEF employee negotiationg a move to Real Madrid after the World Cup without informing the federation.

"We have to decided to fire the national coach," Spanish Football Federation president, Luis Rubiales, said. "What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck."

Debate took place over Lopetegui’s commitment to the national team when Real Madrid announced his appointment yesterday.

Rubiales insists he does not feel undermined, but has suggested that Real acted in a manner unbecoming of their status.

“I don’t feel betrayed. Lopetegui has done impeccable work. How all this has been done is something else," he said

"I have spoken with the players and I can guarantee they will do everything, along with the new coach, to take the team as far as possible.

"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.

"To win is very important, to have the best coach very important, but above everything is acting in the right way. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger," Rubiales said.

Spain play Portugal in their opening fixture and the sacking of the national team coach is sure to hamper their preparations ahead of the showpiece event.

According to reports in the Spanish media, the players tried to intervene at the last minute to prevent Rubiales sacking Lopetegui.

Lopetegui had signed a contract extension until 2020 just last month and never tasted defeat in his 20 games in charge as Spain boss.

Rubiales suggested he had taken the decision personally, as the behaviour of both Lopetegui and Real Madrid had not met the level expected of those involved in Spanish football.

"I took a plane, came back from Moscow, missed the vote on the next World Cup to be here," he said.

Hierro, who was with the Spanish team as a sporting director will address the media later today.


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