Wednesday 13 June 2018, 10:50

Spain coach departs on eve of World Cup

Spain have parted company with coach Julen Lopetegui just two days out from their opening match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

The announcement comes in the wake of Lopetegui’s appointment as Real Madrid coach.

The news was delivered on Wednesday afternoon by Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales at a media conference.

Former Spain World Cup captain Fernando Hierro was named as Lopetegui's replacement a few hours after the media conference.

“We have been forced to dispense with the national coach,” said Rubiales. “We wish him the best of luck.

“What the national team achieves in this World Cup will be due to the work that has been done till now.

"We are all very affected. We have to think what is best for the Spanish FA and for the team. From this afternoon on, we'll be all together to pull in the same direction"

The 2010 champions will open their campaign against neighbours Portugal on Friday in Sochi, before further Group B matches against Morocco and IR Iran.