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World Cup 2018: Spain national team coach fired two days before team’s debut in Russia after taking Real Madrid job

Spain debuts at the 2018 World Cup on Friday against neighbor Portugal, and they are going to have to do it without the head coach they hoped would lead the team to glory. On Wednesday, two days before the team’s debut, the Spanish federation fired coach Julen Lopetegui after he agreed to become Real Madrid’s head coach.

Federation president Luis Rubiales said in a press conference that Lopetegui’s behavior was one of the reasons for getting rid of him. Rubiales didn’t know about him having agreed to coach Real Madrid until he landed in Russia on Tuesday. 

“He told us five minutes before the press release,” Rubiales said. 

It’s quite stunning news and certainly is a massive distraction for this team, but they have their coach. Former Spain star defender Fernando Hierro will lead the team at the tournament, the federation announced shortly after. 

It’s safe to say though, that this certainly is a bad look on the coach, who didn’t appear to be transparent in his intentions. 

“We are left in a complicated situation,” Rubiales said. “But the players and new coaching staff are going to do everything they can to take the Spanish national as far as they can.”

We will have more to come as this story develops. 

Original Article on CBSSports.com: https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/world-cup/news/world-cup-2018-spain-national-team-coach-fired-two-days-before-teams-debut-in-russia-after-taking-real-madrid-job/