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Fernando Hierro to coach Spain during World Cup

13 Jun 2018, 23:55 ( 13 Jun, 2018)

DF-Xinhua Report
Players of Spain celebrate during a friendly soccer match between Spain and Argentina at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain, on March, 27, 2018. Spain won 6-1. File Photo Xinhua.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Wednesday that Fernando Hierro will be the coach of the Spanish national team for the 2018 World Cup following the decision to sack Julen Lopetegui earlier in the day.

   Meanwhile Spain captain, Sergio Ramos used his twitter account to send a message of unity after what have been 24 chaotic hours for the Spain squad.

   "We are Spain, we represent our badge, our colors, our supporters and our country. Our responsibility and commitment is to you and for you, yesterday, today and tomorrow, together," tweeted the defender, who will have Lopetegui as his coach at Real Madrid next season.

   Lopetegui was fired just hours after Real Madrid had confirmed he would be their new first team coach for the coming season, despite Lopetegui having only recently agreed to a new contract to lead the Spanish national team until 2020.

   The decision to show Lopetegui the door came just 48 hours ahead of Spain's World Cup opener against Portugal in Sochi, leaving little time to find a replacement.

   A former Spain and Real Madrid legend as a player, Hierro had been working as the Director of Sport for the RFEF and has the advantage of being already on the ground in Russia and knowing the players well because of his position with the RFEF, although he has only limited experience as a first team coach.

   Hierro coached second division side Real Oviedo in the 2016-2017 campaign, having a moderately successful season, but failing to lead the club to promotion to the Liga Santander. He left after just a year in charge to join the RFEF for a second spell as Director of Sport.

   He will have just two training sessions with the team before Spain kick off their World Cup campaign.

   Following the World Cup, he will almost certinly step down, with former Malaga and Getafe boss Michel Gonzalez and current Under-21 boss Albert Celades the two favorites to take over on a long-term basis.