Spain sack head coach on eve of World Cup 2018 after taking Real Madrid job

The Spanish federation has sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup, one day after being announced as Real Madrid manager.

Lopetegui was confirmed by Real Madrid as their new manager after former manager Zinedine Zidane suddenly decided to quit. The Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales cited the way of the announcement that Lopetegui would join Real Madrid after the tournament as a major factor in the decision.

"To win is very important. To have the best coach very important. But, above everything, is acting in the right way. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end, it will make us stronger."

Lopetegui guided Spain easily through qualification to the World Cup finals and had agreed to a new contract until Euro 2020 in May.

Spain, who play against Portugal in their first group game on Friday, will announce a replacement this afternoon. 

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