Following the major shocker from the Spanish camp, as the Spanish Football Federation sacked Julen Lopetegui as the head coach, the federation appointed Fernando Hierro as the new head coach for the World Cup.
Julen Lopetegui was sacked following his decision to sign a contract with Real Madrid to become their manager from the upcoming season.
The decision comes just two days before Spain’s first fixture of the FIFA World Cup 2018 against Portugal. The team is aiming to forego the disappointment of 2014 and recreate the 2010 success.
RFEF President Luis Rubiales was in a report as saying, “I know it’s a very difficult situation. I know there’s going to be criticism whatever I do. I’m sure this will, in time, make us stronger. I admire Julen very much, I respect him very much. He seems like a top trainer and that makes it harder to make the decision. You can’t do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup. We have been compelled to make this decision.”
Following Lopetegui’s decision to sign with Real despite his commitments with the Spanish side, he received major flak from many people. Rafael del Amo, RFEF Vice-President, was quoted by Marca as saying, “I don’t like it, don’t like it at all. This is not the moment, [Lopetegui] will know that. It is a bit offside, he should have been focused on where he is, there is a lot on the line.
“I believe they should have looked for another moment, but you must have respect too. I [still] believe we will win the tournament, I hope so. If not, you realise how bad this news could be, for some, and for others. For sure it is not the best thing that could have happened.”
Real Madrid announced the arrival of Lopetegui as club manager to fill the vacant spot left by Zinedine Zidane last month.
On the appointment of Lopetegui, the club statement read, “Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Real Madrid CF announces that Julen Lopetegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons. Julen Lopetegui will join the club after the participation of the Spanish team in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team.”
The current Spanish head coach has been chosen over the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Andre Vilas-Boas, who were rumoured as the front-runners for this job.