Fernando Hierro to carry on Julen Lopetegui's good work with Spain

Fernando Hierro to carry on Julen Lopetegui's good work with Spain

Spain sack manager Julen Lopetegui just one day before the start of the 2018 World Cup and two days before they are due to begin their campaign against Portugal.

"But, after five minutes, I saw it in the press and we had to react".

Federation president Luis Rubiales said in a press conference that Lopetegui's behavior was one of the reasons for getting rid of him. "We are left in a very hard situation", he said. "It may look like a weakness now, but with time this will make us stronger".

The club released a statement this afternoon to that effect which said: "Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation".

"There's a lot to do".

Hierro spent most of his career as a defender for Real Madrid and finished his playing days with English club Bolton in 2005.

As Spain, one of the favourites to win the competition, takes on Portugal in a Group B match on Friday, the timing of the decision to fire its coach is shocking.

"I do not feel betrayed because Julen has done a relentless job, but we are forced to move on this because of how things have been done. If not, the national team won't happen", he admitted.

Spain sporting director Fernando Hierro and Under-21 coach Albert Celades have been tipped to take over for at least the World Cup. Del Bosque had led La Roja to a almost unprecedented run of success, with its 2010 World Cup championship sandwiched between European titles in 2008 and 2012.

"My future? The important thing is the World Cup and not to think of anything else that can divert you or upset you", De Gea, who is on national team duties with Spain told reporters.

Reports in Spain suggest Michel and Luis Enrique are leading candidates to replace Lopetegui as coach after the World Cup.

"You have to be focused on having a good World Cup - we are all good".

A peer of Lopetegui's, Hierro was a goal-scoring midfielder who made 601 appearances for Real Madrid, captaining club as well as country. I admire Julen very much, I respect him very much.

Lopetegui has signed a three-year deal to succeed Zinedine Zidane with the Champions League holders and it was decided that in the circumstances it was inappropriate for him to continue with Spain.

Spanish football expert Balague says after links with Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte had been quashed, it was anybody's guess who Real would appoint. But the values of the federation come first.

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