Real Madrid job waiting for Spain manager Julen Lopetegui after World Cup

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Lopetegui was sacked Wednesday, two days before Spain's opening match against Portugal, because he accepted a job Tuesday to coach Real Madrid next season.

At a severely delayed press conference at Spain's World Cup base in Krasnodar, Spanish football federation (RFEF) chief Luis Rubiales expressed dismay at the timing of events that threaten to derail Spain's World Cup chances.

The players are said to have called on Lopetegui to remain in charge of the national side but Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales held a press conference on Wednesday morning to confirm the departure.

"I think Rubiales acted correctly and was looking out for the federation, which should be above any single individual", Hernandez told sports daily Marca. I have spoken with the players, and I can guarantee that they will do everything they can with the new coaching staff, we are in a very hard situation.

Spain have named Fernando Hierro as Julen Lopetegui's replacement following the new Real Madrid boss' sacking. "We wish you the greatest of luck", said Rubiales. According to The Guardian, he said: "I have spoken with the players and I can guarantee they will do everything, along with the new coach, to take the team as far as possible".

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Real Madrid once again shocked the football world on Tuesday, when they announced Julen Lopetegui as Zinedine Zidane's successor.

In the first reaction to the decision, former Spain forward Juanito said Rubiales' arguments had been impeccable.

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

Spain face Portugal on Friday, and will also face Iran and Morocco in Group B.

Members of the Spain squad, led by Los Blancos skipper Sergio Ramos, eventually failed in their bid to keep the coach in his role and it was announced shortly after that Lopetegui will indeed leave his current position with immediate effect.

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"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".

As a player, Lopetegui joined Real at the age of 19.

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"I admire and respect Lopetegui a lot". He managed the Spain team 20 times and won 14 matches, drawing the other six games.

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