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Thursday 24th January 2019,
Hope for Nigeria

Spain sacks Lopetegui a day before the start of the World Cup

The Spanish Football Association have sacked coach Julen Lopetegui before the World Cup begins on Thursday.

Lopetegui was sacked for not informing the Spanish FA (RFEF) that he was replacing Zinedane Zidane at Real Madrid.

Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui had signed a three year deal and will take over after the World Cup.

The President of the Spanish Football Association, Luis Rubiales announced the sack at a press conference in Krasnodar

“We have been forced to dispense with the national coach. We wish him the greatest of luck,” said Rubiales.

“The negotiations have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release. There’s a way to act that needs to be fulfilled.”

When Rubiales was asked who would replace Lopetegui, he said: “We are going to touch as little as possible. We are working on it. When we know we will tell you. “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. 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.

“I took a plane, came back from Moscow, missed the vote on the next World Cup to be here. We had to react, I know that whatever I do I will be criticised, I accept that.

“Julen would have liked things to have been done differently. I don’t have to judge Real Madrid, the one who brought the matter to him is responsible because things can’t be done that way.”

Albert Celades, coach of Spain U21 team will replace Lopetegui as the coach of the Spanish national team.

Lopetegui was unbeaten as the coach of the Spanish team. In his 20 games in charge, he had 14 wins and six draws.

Spain play their opening World Cup fixture against Portugal on Friday.

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