CHAOS IN SPANISH FOOTBALL: News has just flown in that the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have SACKED the Spanish team’s head coach Julen Lopetegui, just 36 hours before the 2018 FIFA World Cup begins in Russia.

It has barely been a day when it was reported that Julen Lopetegui had agreed to a 3-year contract with Spanish footballing giants Real Madrid, in a move which would see him become the immediate successor to the club’s iconic ex-coach, Zinedine Zidane.

Lopetegui is supposed to take over as the head coach of Real Madrid after the FIFA World Cup wraps up in mid July, as he was scheduled to take charge of the Spanish football team at the world’s biggest footballing tournament after coasting through the qualifiers.

But apparently, the news of his signing with Real Madrid and the manner in which the signing was done hasn’t gone well with the RFEF and they’ve made a cut-throat decision of sacking Julen Lopetegui with immediate effect, putting the immediate future of the Spanish team in the air.

Julen Lopitegui

The RFEF President Luis Rubales has been extremely critical of the matter, and was recorded as saying:

The negotiations have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release. There’s a way to act that needs to be fulfilled.

Furthermore, the speculation regarding as to who will follow up as the interim coach and who’ll be appointed as the new head coach has been further squashed by Rubales, as he simply stated that the federation is working on it will soon provide an answer.

Rubales further added:

To win is very important, to have the best coach very important, but above everything is acting in the right way. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger. I took a plane, came back from Moscow, missed the vote on the next World Cup to be here. We had to react, I know that whatever I do I will be criticised, I accept that.

It is shocking to see such a move being taken by a footballing federation just a few hours before the World Cup but adding to the fact that the anger is directed towards Lopetegui for not announcing his departure well in time or post the World Cup makes the anger somewhat justified.

Rubales has clearly stated that he was informed just 5 minutes prior to the public announcement that Lopetegui was leaving and that served as the last straw, even though Lopetegui boasts of a great record with the Spanish team in the 20 matches where he has taken charge, posting 14 wins, 6 draws with no defeats and a total of 61 goals scored.

Sure, the RFEF have wished luck to Julen Lopetegui for his future endeavours but the sacking could’ve been dealt with in a better manner, considering how it will affect the team’s morale right before they open their campaign against reigning European champions Portugal in just a little over 36 hours.

It is also reported by sources that the Spanish director of football, Fernando Hierro or Spain U-21 team manager Albert Celades are in contention for the vacant seat of Spain’s head coach.

How will the Spanish team cope up with their head coach fired right before their World Cup opening fixture? We’ll find out soon.

Stay tuned. We’ll keep updating the story as it develops.

Update at 6:25 p.m. IST: It has been CONFIRMED that Fernando Hierro will take over the job of Spain’s coach for the FIFA World Cup 2018. Sensational! 

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: The Guardian, Mirror, Independent + more

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