Spain manager Lopetegui sacked a day before World Cup 2018

Florentino Perez and Zidane

"The national team is the team for all Spaniards and there are some decisions we feel obliged to take to protect some values", said Rubiales.

Ex-Spain and Madrid defender Fernando Hierro is also with the team in Russian Federation as sporting director, while former U21 boss Albert Celades was part of Lopetegui's coaching team.

Il Corriere dello Sport: Earthquake in Spain. Madrid has unleashed this furious reaction of the federation.

However, despite many feeling that Lopetegui's connection with Real Madrid would cause friction within a already politically divided squad, the Iberian nation have gone and appointed a Real Madrid legend as their new coach in Fernando Hierro.

Mundo Deportivo: Lopetegui sacked two days before the debut.

The Spanish Football Association reportedly believed it would be inappropriate for Lopetegui to continue his tenure, considering he only informed the Spanish FA of dealings with Real just minutes before the official press release from the mega-club.

"The negotiation occurred without the RFEF having any information". Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.

"Not because Lopetegui will be the coach of Madrid for the next three years, which seems like a good and respectable choice".

Bild: Earthquake in Spain.

In the world of business, he's also known for his astute eye for a winning opportunity.

There was widespread anger among Spanish media and fans at the timing of the announcement on the eve of the tournament, with hopes high that a revitalised side could reach the heights of three consecutive major tournament wins between 2008 and 2012, including the country's only World Cup win in 2010.

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L'Equipe: Spain without a manager.

Television and radio commentator Manolo Lama, summing up the state of bewilderment caused by the decision, said the team's success will rely exclusively on the players.

The World Cup kicks off on Thursday when host nation Russian Federation plays Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Following a weird morning, during which the Spanish players pleaded with Rubiales to keep Lopetegui in charge, it was decided that the manager's position had become untenable.

Europe 1: Lopetegui, sacked. "This is not the best solution but in life you can not escape your responsibilities", said Rubiales.

In one of his first actions, Rubiales canceled a previously arranged "vacation" trip by officials to the World Cup that would cost almost 2 million euros ($3 million).

David De Gea has refused to entertain any questions about a potential move to Real Madrid this summer.

Olé: Spain, without a manager.

Some people in Spain agree that national team coach Julen Lopetegui had to go.

The Spanish FA will now look to finalise a replacement coach in a matter of hours.

A star midfielder for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, he has also coached Roma, Celta Vigo and returned to the Nou Camp as head coach.

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