Lopetegui fired by Spain before WC
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui was sensationally sacked on Wednesday, two days before their opening World Cup match, for failing to tell his federation about his move to Real Madrid after the tournament and replaced by Fernando Hierro.
The 50-year-old will have barely 48 hours to prepare his team for their opening World Cup match against neighbours and bitter rivals Portugal in Sochi on Friday.
Real unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui, who had only recently extended his contract with Spain and was unbeaten in his 20 games in charge, would take over next season.
In announcing one of the most extraordinary coach sackings in World Cup history, Spanish football federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said he had found out about the move five minutes before it was announced by the Champions League winners.
"The coach, while he is a RFEF employee cannot do things in this way. I found out with a phone call five minutes before the official announcement".