To the shock of most footballing personalities around the world, Julen Lopetegui was sacked by the Spanish Football Federation as Spain manager, and hours later, Fernando Hierro was appointed as his replacement, with Albert Celades as assistant manager.
On Tuesday, Real Madrid announced Lopetegui as their replacement for Zinedine Zidane, on a three-year contract. 24 hours later, the president of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales sacked Lopetegui and stated that: “the negotiations (between Real Madrid and Lopetegui) have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release. We have a way of behaving that needs to be adhered to. You can’t do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup. We have been obliged to make this decision”.
It is understood that the Spain players, including Sergio Ramos, did everything possible to keep Lopetegui at the helm.
Fernando Hierro is most known for his time at Los Blancos between 1989-2003, as he made 439 appearances and scored 102 goals as a central defender. He also gained 89 caps for Spain, scoring 29 goals.
He isn’t blessed with managerial experience as his first full-time role came in 2016, as he took charge of Segunda side Real Oviedo, but they missed out on the promotion play-offs and he left by mutual consent. In November 2017, he was appointed as Footballing Director of the Spanish National Side. Albert Celades, has been named as Spain’s Assistant Manager. Celades was the U21 manager, and has travelled to Russia.
Spain face Portugal on match-day one on Friday and will be hoping that team morale won’t have been affected by Rubiales’ decision.