Spain stunningly fires World Cup head coach over betrayal

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal

Julen Lopetegui has sensationally been sacked as head coach of Spain, just two days before their opening match at the 2018 World Cup.

The club on Tuesday poached Spanish national team coach Julen Lopetegui just two days before the start of the World Cup in Russian Federation.

"I share the decision that Luis Rubiales has taken, it is not an easy situation but I think it is the right thing to do", Xavi said.

"The RFEF can not stay on the margin of the contractual situation of one of its workers", he said.

With Lopetegui signing a new deal to continue as Spain boss last month, Rubiales was shocked to receive a call from Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez on Tuesday confirming he had hired the coach for next season, just a few minutes before the official announcement of his appointment at the Bernabeu was made.

Lopetegui was announced as Zinedine Zidane's successor in a move that surprised many just days before the World Cup in Russian Federation is due to start.

"There's a lot to do".

Last month, Lopetegui agreed to a contract extension through 2020.

After Madrid's announcement that it hired Lopetegui, critics immediately began questioning some of the coach's decisions with the national team, including his choice to leave some Barcelona players such as Sergi Roberto out of the World Cup squad.

Fernando Hierro Sergio Ramos Spain
Spain stunningly fires World Cup head coach over betrayal

"We have been forced to dispense with the coach, remembering all the good things he has given us", he told reporters.

Frenchman Zinedine Zidane stepped down two weeks ago, days after leading Real to a third consecutive Champions League title.

After short spells at Rayo Vallecano and with Madrid's youth team Real Madrid Castilla, Lopetegui enjoyed a successful time with Spain's under-19s and under-21s.

There are six Madrid players in Spain's team for the World Cup.

"I admire Julen a lot, I respect him a lot, I think he's a top trainer and that makes it more hard to make the decision".

The Spanish FA's president Luis Rubiales having to fly back from a Federation Internationale de Football Association congress to where the Spain squad are based in Krasnodar.

Head of the Spanish FA, Luis Rubiales: said: 'Hierro told me he is ready to help Spain, he's been very generous, I want to thank him for that.

Rubiales accused Lopetgui of betraying the federation's values.

Former Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Barca captains Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez played a big part in binding those squads together and their leadership in the national team has been missed.

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