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Fernando Hierro: The 50-year-old is taking over Spain for the World Cup
Fernando Hierro: The 50-year-old is taking over Spain for the World Cup

Fernando Hierro will manage Spain during the World Cup after they sacked Real Madrid-bound Julen Lopetegui.

The 2010 World Cup champions caused shockwaves in Russia after sacking head coach Lopetegui just a day before the start of the tournament.

Hierro, 50, is a former midfielder who represented Real Madrid and Bolton, as well as making 88 appearances for Spain.

Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui would be taking over as their new manager after the World Cup, but the move evidently did not go down well with the Spanish FA.

Early reports suggested they were in the dark about the move until the last minute, and they confirmed as much after responding by making the shock move just before the event gets underway.

FA president Luis Rubiales says they were 'forced' into the move after Lopetegui took the Real Madrid post without informing them.

"We have been forced to dispense with the national coach, we wish him the best of luck" he said.

"I don't want to get into how Real Madrid should go about things. The Spanish team is the team of all Spain.

"If it had been up to Julen it wouldn't have happened in this way and I wouldn't have found out five minutes beforehand.

"The negotiation occurred without the RFEF having any information. (We were told) just five minutes before the press release. We have a way of behaving that needs to be adhered to.

"Obviously there was some sort of problem with communication but we can't be expected to find out about something like this five minutes (before the announcement) and not take the necessary decisions."

Bookmakers Sky Bet have responded by easing Spain out to 13/2 to win the World Cup after an eventful turn of events.

Spain take on rivals Portugal in their opening Group B fixture on Friday (June 15).

Odds correct as of 1300 BST on 13/06/18

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