Spain sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui after he was named the new Real Madrid boss – two days before their opening World Cup match against Portugal. Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui would succeed Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu on a three-year-deal. The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said it had dismissed the 51-year-old because the negotiation occurred "without any information to the RFEF". The World Cup in Russia starts on Thursday. "I know it’s a very difficult situation. I know there’s going to be criticism whatever I do," said RFEF president Luis Rubiales, who was told of Lopetegui’s new role five minutes before it was announced.
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