Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Spain manager, one day before the World Cup starts after he was confirmed as the new Real Madrid head coach just 24 hours earlier.
On Wednesday morning, reports began to surface that the soon-to-be Real boss would be axed by the Spanish FA (RFEF) just two days before their opening World Cup match against Portugal.
This news came after Real Madrid announced Lopetegui’s appointment as Zinedine Zidane’s replacement on Tuesday, much to the anger of the Spanish FA and president Luis Rubiales, who was said to be “furious” and “deeply upset”.
The RFEF was caught completely unaware, the news coming just 21 days after Lopetegui had put pen to paper on a new contract until 2020.
Much-fancied Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Portugal on Friday night and this morning Radio Marca said all the signs pointed to Lopetegui not being in charge for that match.
The head coach and president were due to appear at a press conference at the Krasnodar Stadium at 9.30am BST but it was delayed amid reports the national team head coach would be leaving his post immediately.
Reports then started to emerge that Lopetegui would remain manager for the duration of the World Cup after the players – led by Sergio Ramos – tried to arrange an intervention and demanded that he stay.
It proved to be too little too late, though, with Rubiales saying: “We have been forced to dispense with the national coach.”
More to follow…