M2 PIX

M1 PIX

Spain have appointed Fernando Hierro as their manager for the World Cup after a tumultuous morning that saw former coach Julen Lopetegui sacked for taking over at Real Madrid.

Hierro, himself an icon at the Bernabeu, was in the front row of the crowd at a press conference on Wednesday where it was confirmed that Lopetegui would leave just hours before the tournament kicks off.

The 50-year-old will now take his place at the top table for another media briefing at 6.30pm local time (4.30pm BST). He will then hold his first training session on Thursday ahead of Friday’s opening clash against Portugal.

Lopetegui was dismissed on Wednesday by Spanish football chiefs who were left furious by his decision to join Real Madrid ahead of the tournament.

The 51-year-old was announced as Zinedine Zidane’s replacement on Tuesday evening. He was then out of his current role just hours later, only to be replaced by a man who played 584 matches for Los Blancos.

Hierro enjoyed an 18 year professional career, winning three Champions League winner’s medals and five La Liga titles during more than a decade at Madrid.


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