Spain: Julen Lopetegui quiet on sacking

De Gea demands public apology from Spanish prime minister over 2016 sex abuse case

Spanish FA chiefs were left furious following Lopetegui being announced as Real Madrid boss, and the decision was made tonight to fire him, despite their first World Cup game being just two days away.

Julen Lopetegui - who was surprisingly announced as the new Real Madrid manager on Tuesday - was sacked on Wednesday morning.

Spain blitzed through qualifying, earning 28 points from a possible 30, and they're the bookies' second favourites to win the tournament in Russian Federation.

Rubiales confirmed that the players attempted to save Lopetegui's job, but insisted that the RFEF were unable to accept the way Lopetegui handled the situation.

The 50-year-old Hierro, a former national team player and Real Madrid captain, will be taking on his first major coaching job. "We wish him the greatest of luck".

Lopetegui became Spain manager in 2016 following Vicente del Bosque's retirement, and remained unbeaten through his reign.

"He told us five minutes before the press release", Rubiales said. There is a way of acting that must be fulfilled.

Lopetegui and Rubiales were locked in talks amid rumours that the Spanish FA chief has chose to sack the coach who has guided Spain to the World Cup in Russian Federation, with senior players then believed to have become embroiled in the debate over what should happen next.

"I am very sad, but we have a magnificent team and I hope we win the World Cup", he said.

"We are all affected", Rubiales said about Lopetegui's departure. [However], this has been done without knowledge of the RFEF.

"I have spoken with the players and I can guarantee that the new technical team will do everything they can. The players have seen things like this before and I am sure they are going to have a good World Cup". We have been forced to make this decision.

"I admire and respect Lopetegui a lot".

"I don't feel betrayed, the problem is that things have been done with the complete absence of the RFEF, which is something (we) can not let go by".

Criticism of Real Madrid and Lopetegui was spreading as Rubiales flew to Spain's base camp in Krasnodar, Russia.

But it caused uproar at the Spanish Football Federation, who were only told about the appointment five minutes before Real went public.

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