World Cup 2018: Spain considering replacing Julen Lopetegui over ‘betrayal’ of Real Madrid manager appointment

A press conference on Wednesday will clarify Lopetegui’s future just 24 hours before the 2018 World Cup begins in what could be an extraordinary twist

Ed Malyon
Wednesday 13 June 2018 08:28 BST
2018 Russia World Cup in numbers

Spain are considering replacing coach Julen Lopetegui 24 hours before their first World Cup game after the announcement that he will take over at Real Madrid.

The Spanish FA (RFEF) and in particular the federation’s new president, Luis Rubiales, are known to be furious with the way that Lopetegui has handled this situation and Rubiales flew back from the Fifa congress in Moscow late on Tuesday night to Krasnodar, where the Spanish squad are based.

A press conference on Wednesday will clarify the 53-year-old coach’s future but there remains the possibility that the RFEF will decide Lopetegui can no longer continue in the post.


Multiple reports on Tuesday night claimed Rubiales feels ‘betrayed’ and that he was angered to only find out five minutes before Madrid announced the hire.

Spain’s sporting director Fernando Hierro and Spanish Under-21 coach Albert Celades would be in the frame to step in for Lopetegui if it is deemed he should not stay on, but it would be an extraordinary twist given that La Roja open their World Cup campaign on Friday against Portugal in Sochi.

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