The Spanish FA have sacked manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the 2018 World Cup, after the 51-year-old was confirmed as Real Madrid’s new manager on Tuesday.
The decision came after a morning of meetings with RFEF president Luis Rubiales and Lopetegui, with a number of senior players in La Roja’s squad reportedly intervening on behalf of the manager to try and keep him in place.
Rubiales had said on his arrival to Spain’s World Cup base: “This is not the time to talk, but we will make the decision that best suits the squad, we will do things responsibly.”
The decision was announced in a press conference on Wednesday morning, which was pushed back multiple times as frantic conversations took place behind the scenes.
Rubiales said in the press conference of Lopetegui’s move to Real: “The negotiations took place without the RFEF’s knowledge. We found out 5 minutes before the press release. There are ways of behaving.”
Speaking about Lopetegui’s short-term successor, he added: “We are going to touch as little as possible. We are working on it. When we know we will tell you.”