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Hierro named as Spain new coach

Lopetegui sacked

Hierro named as Spain new coach

KRASNODAR, Jun 13: Fernando Hierro will manage Spain at the 2018 World Cup after Julen Lopetegui was sensationally sacked on Wednesday, reports Goal.com. The former Bolton Wanderers defender was previously the sporting director of the national team, and will now step into the breach following Lopetegui’s astonishing dismissal. Lopetegui was appointed Real Madrid manager on Tuesday, with an announcement from the club claiming that he would take the role following the conclusion of the World Cup, with Spain set to play Portugal in their opening game on Friday. However, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) took the decision to sack the former Porto boss, with the announcement of his deal with Real reportedly sending shockwaves through the nation’s football hierarchy. Hierro has previously been assistant manager at Real Madrid and has also worked as Malaga’s director of football. However, he has managed just one club in his career, taking over at Real Oviedo in Spain’s Segunda Division for the 2016-17 season, though he failed to take the club to promotion, and subsequently departed by mutual consent. Article continues below Hierro is best known in Spain for his playing days at Real, where he won five La Liga titles, as well as the Champions League three times. He also spent the 2004-05 season playing under Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers. As well as Portugal, Spain will face Iran and Morocco in Group B in Russia. Germany head coach Joachim Low has been stunned by World Cup rivals Spain’s descent into chaos after Julen Lopetegui’s departure on the eve of Russia 2018. It was confirmed on Tuesday that Lopetegui would take over at Real Madrid once the tournament had come to a conclusion - news that came as a surprise to many. And in a sensational development 24 hours later, Spain announced that Lopetegui had been sacked, with Fernando Hierro set to take over the reins for the finals. Hierro’s first task is a daunting one - a crunch Group B meeting with Portugal on Friday - and Germany boss Low conceded the whole saga had come as an almighty shock. La Roja were heavily fancied to win the tournament, boasting a squad packed with world-class players, but it remains to be seen how they will adjust to their new circumstances. “I was also surprised and it very much came out of the blue,” he told the media, ahead of the defending champions’ opening Group F encounter with Mexico on Sunday. “I’ve no idea about the background of the Spanish Federation’s decision. To put it mildly, it is very unusual, if not a total bombshell. “Let’s not beat about the bush - it will lead to difficulties and a bit of unrest. Fernando Hierro has experience in coaching and I think he was assistant coach for Real Madrid for a while. He went to Valencia and was head of sporting affairs but I cannot evaluate his qualities as a coach. “However, Spain has been together for years and years. They have a clear philosophy. Just look at Barcelona and Real Madrid who leave their mark on the national team. “The players know each other well and have done for many years, so at the end of day Lopetegui or no Lopetegui, Spain will not lose any of their class or quality.” Topics

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