Just football

Spain announce Fernando Hierro as new manager

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Spain have confirmed the appointment of former Real Madrid captain Fernando Hierro following shock dismissal of Julen Lopetegui just a day to the World Cup.

Hierro, who is Spain’s sporting director and his only managerial experience is a year in charge of Oviedo, will be in the dugout on Friday when Spain open their Group B campaign against Portugal.

The 50-year-old spent 14 years at Real Madrid before a year in Saudi Arabia and 12 months at Bolton.

He won 89 caps for his country.

The former Bolton defender is expected to face the media at a press conference on Wednesday evening, before leading his first training session and later take charge of his game on Friday.

On Wednesday, Spain delayed a press conference at the Krasnodar Stadium by well over an hour before Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales announced the decision.

He said: “We have been forced to dispense with the national coach.”

Rubiales added: “We wish him the best of luck.”Suggestions first emerged early on Wednesday that Rubiales was not happy with the situation and would remove Lopetegui just two days before Spain’s Group B opener.

“The negotiation occurred without the RFEF having any information,” Rubiales said. “(We were told) just five minutes before the press release. We have a way of behaving that needs to be adhered to.

“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.”

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