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Hierro has faith in troubled Spain side

14 June 2018

The 51-year-old will depart without having ever lost a match as Spain's senior coach. He was sacked from a brief spell in charge of Rayo Vallecano in Spain's second division in 2003 and left Portuguese club Porto after failing to win any silverware from 2014-16.

Lopetegui was announced as Zinedine Zidane's successor at the Santiago Bernabeu in a shock announcement on Tuesday that has rocked one of the pre-tournament favourites' preparations.

Former Real Madrid star Hierro has been working in the Spanish national team set-up since his appointment as sporting director last November, with the move to appoint him as Lopetegui's replacement created to dilute the confusion around the squad. We have a way of behaving that needs to be adhered to.

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Fernando Hierro will lead Spain into the World Cup after the shock sacking of Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament - but admits he can not make any changes before the finals get under way.

Lopetegui was announced as Zinedine Zidane's successor in a move that surprised many just days before the World Cup in Russian Federation is due to start.

"Could Spain go on as if it had not happened?" Rubiales ruminated on all this but there was something else: anger.

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Nine of the players who started in the Euro 2016 final against France are back for the World Cup, with the only absences being veteran forward Nani and young midfielder Renato Sanches. His experience as a Spanish national player, as well as his involvement with the set-up, will be key in guiding Spain through this storm. "He has simply made the decision for ethical reasons", writes Matallanas.

Rubiales revealed things may have been different had he known earlier on about negotiations between Real and Lopetegui, who departs with 14 wins and six draws in his 20 games as Spain coach.

Every press conference, every day in Russian Federation, the focus will be on Real. "We are the National Team, we represent a shield, colors, fans and a nation", he tweeted. "The responsibility and the commitment are with you and for you". I have no opinion about how Real Madrid act.

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Hierro has faith in troubled Spain side