The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) stunned everyone on Wednesday morning by sacking head coach Julen Lopetegui one day before the 2018 World Cup finals get underway.
RFEF dismissed Lopetegui after the 51-year-old failed to inform them of the fact he was in negotiations to become the new manager of Real Madrid.
Lopetegui was announced as Zinedine Zidane’s successor on Monday after putting pen to paper on a three-year contract.
RFEF president Luis Rubiales said he found himself in “a very difficult situation” after finding out about Lopetegui’s agreement with Madrid five minutes before it was made official.
"I'm sure this will, in time, make us stronger. I admire Julen very much, I respect him very much. He seems a top trainer and that makes it harder to make the decision,” he said. "You can't do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup. We have been compelled to make this decision."
Spain sporting director Fernando Hierro will now take charge of La Roja’s World Cup campaign.
The 2010 world champions play their opening match against neighbours Portugal on Friday night.
Spain's odds of winning the World Cup have drifted
Following the news of Lopetegui’s sacking, Spain’s odds of winning the tournament have unsurprisingly drifted.
They were around 6/1 to lift the prestigious trophy on June 15 prior to Wednesday’s bombshell, but are now priced at sevens or even 8/1 with some bookmakers.
Many football fans feel that Spain have shot themselves in the foot and can no longer envisage them lifting the World Cup, despite the quality in the squad, amid all the chaos.
However, not everybody sees it that way.
Vardy makes a great point after Lopetegui's sacking
Jamie Vardy was asked for his reaction to the news on Wednesday afternoon and the England striker believes little will change on the pitch because Spain’s philosophy is the same regardless of which coach is in charge of picking the team.
"It's really strange, I don't really know what to say," Vardy was quoted as saying by the Leicester Mercury.
"As players themselves with Spain, they know how they are going to play every time they go on the pitch. It doesn't change.
"So if the manager has gone, I'm sure when it comes to going on that field, they will still be playing exactly the same they always have done, they've managed to be successful doing that."
Indeed, Spain’s squad is full of vastly-experienced world-class internationals who know the system inside out.
While Lopetegui’s departure will come as a blow, there’s no reason why anything will change on the pitch now that Hierro is calling the shots from the touchline instead.
Only time will tell but Vardy could end up being proved right.
Should Spain still be considered serious contenders for the World Cup? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms