Hierro replaces sacked Lopetegui as Spain manager

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In a surprise move, Real Madrid announced that Spain manager Lopetegui would be taking over the reigns at the Santiago Bernabéu, picking up from the recently departed Zinedine Zidane, once he finishes his campaign with the national side in Russian Federation for the World Cup.

Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales said a replacement would be announced "soon".

"The future of Julen Lopetegui as Spanish national team manager hangs by a thread", said Madrid-based sports daily Marca.

Lopetegui had signed a contract extension until 2020 just last month and Rubiales is reportedly angry at only being informed of his decision to join Real minutes before the European champions made the announcement public. "We have been compelled to act".

"Let's say that the decision to stay at Juventus had already been taken, while thanking the ones who sought me out", he said.

As it goes, the man who will take charge of the team while in Russian Federation will be Fernando Hierro (one of Zidane's former Real Madrid teamates). Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.

According to reports in Spain, Rubiales was incensed when he discovered Lopetegui had agreed a deal with Madrid.

"You can't do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup".

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"There's a lot to do".

Hierro, a stylish goal-scoring defender who won 89 caps for Spain, spent most of illustrious playing career at Real Madrid, helping them win five Primera Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and three Uefa Champions League titles. The Spanish national team is the team of the Spanish.

Spain will face Portugal in their first Group B match on Saturday (AEST). "Yesterday, today and tomorrow, together", Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos.

He played in four World Cups with Spain from 1990 to 2002.

"He followed it up by saying: "[It's] a hard situation in these moments for our squad but now more than ever is when we have to support them without stopping.

"I'd have accepted communication and normal procedure, if he'd said "Hey Luis, let's talk about how we do this".

Comparing the Spanish turbulence with England's camp so far, Butland added: "I don't think we'll ever be in that situation".

After Spain fired coach Julen Lopetegui just one day before the start of the tournament, Pique is looking to the past for how the team can rally.