Spain have sacked manager Julen Lopetegui just two days before their World Cup 2018 opening game versus Portugal on Friday. The news comes one day after Lopetegui was named as successor to Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
Spain, headed by skipper Sergio Ramos, were considered one of the favourites to win the World Cup outright. Lopetegui leaves having never lost a game as Spain coach, putting topgether a 20-game winning streak of 16 wins and four draws since taking the reins in July 2016 following the European Championship in France.
Frenchman Zidane called time on his Real career last month after winning his third successive Champions League title in Kiev in May. In a brief statement released on Tuesday, Real announced Lopetegui, 51, had been appointed on a three-year contract.
Social media unsurprisingly went into overdrive after the announcement.
Wow! Spain have sacked their coach, Lopetegui. Increible!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 13, 2018
Misses out on his dream of leading Spain at a World Cup and will probably be sacked at Madrid if he doesn't win the Champions League. Congrats Julen Lopetegui— James Stretford (@Jamesstretford) June 13, 2018
oh god it's even better, Lopetegui's agent and key part in his Real Madrid move is Jorge Mendes, and Spain just happen to play Portugal on Friday. I LOVE THIS GAME— О•ЛИ•ВЭР (@sewadyllo) June 13, 2018