Julen Lopetegui has been sacked from his position as head coach of Spain. The decision was taken following Real Madrid’s announcement yesterday that Lopetegui would take over at the Bernabeu after the tournament. It appears this didn’t go down well with Lopetegui’s bosses at the Spanish Football Federation:
Rubiales on why he sacked Lopetegui "The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards. We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid."— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2018
Lopetegui’s time in charge had been largely successful: they were unbeaten in qualification and among the favourites going into the tournament. Indeed, he had recently signed a new deal with Spain stretching up to Euro 2022. Instead, he’ll be heading to the Bernabeu a month early. It looks as though his replacement will be either Albert Celades or Fernando Hierro, both of whom are already involved in the national set-up.
Reports suggest a late appeal from the players, asking the federation to swallow their pride and focus on the World Cup, was unsuccessful. Quite how the squad will be feeling, having both lost their manager and been publicly ignored by the administrators, remains to be seen. Spain’s first game is on Friday, June 15, against Portugal. Should be a fun one.