OFFICIAL: Lopetegui sacked as Spain head coach 1 day before the World Cup

Spain have officially sacked Julen Lopetegui as head coach just 24 hours before the World Cup after shock Real Madrid appointment.

Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as manager of Spain, after taking the Real Madrid job on Tuesday.

Lopetegui was announced as Zinedine Zidane’s successor earlier this week in a move that surprised many.

The announcement initially claimed that the 51-year-old would take the reigns at Santiago Bernabeu after the conclusion of the tournament, but La Roja have acted now.

“We have to decided to fire the national coach,” read a statement from the Spanish Football Federation president, Luis Rubiales. “What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck.”

“The Spain team is the team of all Spaniards. You can’t do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup. We have been obliged to make this decision.”

The stunning development threatens to destabilise a team regarded as one of the favourites to win the tournament in Russia.

Spain face Portugal on Friday, and will also face Iran and Morocco in Group B.