Breaking! Spain Fires Coach on Eve of World Cup

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According to Rubiales, the only way to protect the team's chances of winning was to fire a coach who had lost the trust of his players.

Julen Lopetegui speaks with Pique.

"He told us five minutes before the press release", Rubiales said. "There's a way to act that needs to be fulfilled". However, Spanish FA president was staunch in following through on his decision.

"I saw it in the press, it had already happened, and because of my responsibility, I know that whatever I do, there will be criticism". "I have spoken to them and I can assure you that the players and the the new coaching staff will do everything possible to lead the team as far as possible [in Russia], but it's a complicated situation".

"To win is very important, to have the best coach is very important, but above everything is acting in the right way". We have been forced to make this decision.

Spain begin their campaign to regain the trophy from holders Germany on Friday evening, when they take on Portugal, with Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia set to open the tournament on Thursday afternoon.

"They realised very quickly that Klopp has got a very close link with Liverpool and couldn't get him out of there, and with Conte they weren't sure he was what was needed for Real Madrid".

He won 89 caps for his country. The players are used to coaches coming and going.

Lopetegui had a short playing career at both Madrid and Barcelona as a reserve goalkeeper.

Spain begin their World Cup campaign against neighbours Portugal on Friday, but who will be in the dugout for La Roja remains to be seen.

The current director of football at LaLiga side Sevilla, he stepped in as caretaker manager last season following the sacking of Vincenzo Montella.

Yet at midday on Wednesday it was confirmed that Lopetegui was being sacked and that he'd have to leave.

Guillem Balague says Julen Lopetegui's appointment as Real Madrid manager came as a surprise, but insists fans will be happy.

"The players will do everything in their reach to win the World Cup". He also said that there was little that could be "changed in two days" when the team had been working together with Lopetegui for two years, and that the squad was "fantastic".

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