Spain has sacked coach Julen Lopetegui as the national team coach, a day before the World Cup begins.

Luis Rubiales, RFEF president, is said to be “furious” and “deeply upset” over Real Madrid’s confirmation of Lopetegui as their new gaffer.

Lopetegui had penned a new contract until 2020 just weeks ago, but the allure of succeeding Zinedine Zidane was irresistible.

The coach’s sack comes 48 hours before Spain’s opening Group B fixture against Portugal.

“We have been forced to break our agreement with Julen Lopetegui,” said the RFEF chief.

“We have to decided to fire the national coach [Lopetegui]. What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck.

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“This is a way that you must act, Julen has worked in a great way with the team, but we cannot accept how he has acted in this case.

“The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards. We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid.”

“To win is very important, to have the best coach very important, but above everything is acting in the right way. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.

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“I took a plane, came back from Moscow, missed the vote on the next World Cup to be here. We had to react, I know that whatever I do I will be criticised, I accept that.”

The Cable