Spain Fire Coach One Day Before World Cup

Julen Lopetegui

As the World Cup gets ready to kick off in Russia on Thursday, tournament contenders Spain have sensationally sacked their manager.

Julen Lopetegui was dismissed by the Spanish footballing authorities just ahead of the national side’s Friday clash with neighbors and fancied side Portugal.

The Spanish FA president referred to Lopetegui’s announcement that he would take over at Real Madrid after the tournament.

Lopetegui, 51, had signed a three-year deal to manage the Champions League holders but this brought him into conflict with the Spanish FA.

The former goalkeeper played 149 games in Spain’s top-flight La Liga over 11 seasons and represented his country at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.