The 2018 World Cup hasn’t even kicked off yet and there’s already been one of the most shocking moments in the tournament’s history.
With a little more than 24 hours until Russia and Saudi Arabia get things underway, Spain have sacked their manager.
On Tuesday, Julen Lopetegui was announced as Real Madrid’s next manager and would be taking over after managing Spain at the World Cup.
But it seems the Spanish Football Federation (SFF) had no idea about Lopetegui’s agreement with Los Blancos. And, as a result, Lopetegui has now been sacked.
In a press conference on Wednesday morning, SFF president Luis Rubiales explained how he only discovered Lopetegui would be taking over at Real Madrid five minutes before it was officially announced.
"We have been forced to dispense with the national coach. We wish you the greatest of luck," said Rubiales.
"The negotiation has occurred without any information to the RFEF. Just five minutes before the press release. There's a way to act that needs to be fulfilled.
"It's the Spanish team. You can not do things this way.
"I admire Julen a lot, I respect him a lot, I think he's a top trainer and that makes it more difficult to make the decision
"I don't feel betrayed. Lopetegui, while he's been with us, has done impeccable work.
"I know it's a very difficult situation. I know there's going to be criticism whatever I do. I'm sure this will, in time, make us stronger."
What now for Spain?
Surely it’s too late to appoint another manager just two days before they face Portugal in their Group B opener.
As you’d expect, the footballing world has been reacting to the shocking news - and that includes Spaniard Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas was left out of the squad by Lopetegui and he reacted predictably on Twitter.
After Gary Lineker tweeted: “Ah well, will give @cesc4official something to talk about on his punditry debut,” to which Fabregas replied: “Wait, maybe I can get a call up now!”
Unfortunately, it’s probably a bit too late for that, Cesc.
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