The decision came after a morning of meetings with RFEF president Luis Rubiales and Lopetegui, with a number of senior players in La Roja's squad reportedly intervening on behalf of the manager to try to save the national team from suffering the aftermath of the decision.
Rubiales had said on his arrival to Spain's World Cup base: "This is not the time to talk, but we will make the decision that best suits the squad, we will do things responsibly."
This was the decision announced by the Spanish FA:
🗣 @LuisRubiales: "Nos hemos visto obligados a prescindir del seleccionador nacional. Le deseamos la mayor de las suertes. Lo que consiga la @SeFutbol, tendrá que ver con el trabajo que ha desarrollado" https://t.co/30CN3tBenV— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 13, 2018
Fans on social media were shocked and amused at this decision. Here's how they reacted:
When you hear Spain have sacked Julen Lopetegui... 🇪🇸 🏆 pic.twitter.com/38ogH6JppX— SportsJOE (@SportsJOE_UK) June 13, 2018
Meanwhile, Manchester United fans are happy:
Spain sacking Lopetegui so he can't spend a month whispering in De Gea's head about Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/3MsoI7Zxm8— The Peoples Person (@PeoplesPerson_) June 13, 2018
International managers to be sacked without losing a game:— bet365 (@bet365) June 13, 2018
- Julen Lopetegui
- Sam Allardyce pic.twitter.com/WbzsTlgL60
Wenger on his way to Russia for the Spanish coach’s job after hearing Lopetegui has been sacked pic.twitter.com/Co3HwcD8vV— Iseunife The First (@Shawnife_) June 13, 2018
Real Madrid could have delayed the announcement of Lopetegui appointment in my opinion, by putting the interest of the national team first. He has an obligation for the country to fulfill and Spain is bigger than the club which should have called for some respect from the club— Yemiojo Samuel (@yemmmyojo) June 13, 2018
The lure of managing Madrid was too strong for Julen Lopetegui. Can you really blame the him? Blame rather rests on @realmadrid for not managing the publicity better. The Spainish Federation has by sacking him, gambled away a possible World Cup win on grounds of sentiments.— Olaudah Equiano® (@Uruokpala) June 13, 2018
Lopetegui after telling RFEF about joining Madrid. pic.twitter.com/UR2cXWeQ1J— Maria (@WayTooMessi) June 13, 2018
Pique when he found out about Lopetegui agreeing a deal with Madrid pic.twitter.com/0lBKtPaeJp— V🤙🏽 (@Vthota111) June 13, 2018
🚨 🚨 🚨 Spain has just fired coach Julen Lopetegui 1 day before the World Cup! He was announced as the new @realmadriden manager yesterday, angering the Spanish Federation who have reacted swiftly! 😳 @itvfootball @FIFAWorldCup— Seema Jaswal (@meseemajaswal) June 13, 2018
The firing of Spain coach Julen Lopetegui 2 days before the World Cup—a day after he was named Real Madrid coach—is yet another example of how much bigger the club game has gotten than the international game.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 13, 2018
Odd decisions from just about everyone involved.— Ball Street (@BallStreet) June 13, 2018
Real Madrid approaching Lopetegui, could've waited.
Lopetegui agreeing the deal, could've waited.
Madrid announcing the deal, DEFINITELY could've waited.
Spain sacking Lopetegui ONE DAY before the WC, SURELY could've waited? pic.twitter.com/ZdN1P1sxeM
Imagine scenes if Lopetegui becomes public enemy no1 in Spain as result of not putting country first & Real Madrid decide he’ll no longer be popular manager & terminate his contract.— Spencer FC (@SpencerOwen) June 13, 2018
Will miss out on managing his country at #WorldCup & the best team in world in one fell swoop.
Lopetegui's management career— bet365 (@bet365) June 13, 2018
- Sacked after 11 games
Spain U19, U20 & U21:
- Won 2 European Championships
- Got to World Cup final
- Failed to win a trophy
- Equaled club's biggest defeat
- Didn't lose a game
- Sacked a day before 2018 World Cup pic.twitter.com/gSnv68rDKJ
Mourinho, Conte, Guardiola, Rio Ferdinand, Harry Kane, Unai Emery & Zlatan react to the news that Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui has been sacked on the eve of the World Cup! 🇪🇸#WorldCup #Spain pic.twitter.com/PS3BC79dL3— Al Foran (@ImpressionistAL) June 13, 2018
Everyone who got Spain in their sweepstake are shaking their heads now! What a mess for the Spanish. TWO days before their #WorldCup kicks off Lopetegui sacked. Makes sense as clearly would be a conflict of interest in camp but the timing is horrendous. The squad must be furious!— Jules Breach (@julesbreach) June 13, 2018
Spanish FA: All right, let's make this sporting, Julen. If you can tell me why I shouldn't fire you without using the letter "e," you can keep your job.— World Cup in Simpsons Form (@WCSimpsons) June 13, 2018
Lopetegui: Uh, okay. I'm a good... work... guy...
I didn't say it.
Lopetegui: EEEEEEEEE!!!! pic.twitter.com/qztRnggjeY
Sacking Julen Lopetegui is what I still don’t understand tho. Louis Van Gaal was about to start the World Cup with Netherlands when he was confirmed as Manchester United manager. What changed here?— PRESIDER (@anwonzobright) June 13, 2018
Lopetegui won't be in De Gea' s ears 👌🏼— Stephen (@ShadeMUFC) June 13, 2018
First the fax machine, now this. pic.twitter.com/PmGZvze1zU
MADNESS!— Chef (@champ_ian) June 13, 2018
Julen Lopetegui signs a two-year contract extension (until 2020) as manager of Spain.
Goes 20 games unbeaten, winning 14 of them.
Announced as #RealMadrid manager.
Sacked by Spain.
The #WorldCup kicks off.
15 June#ESP vs #POR pic.twitter.com/HRjLjOeYGf
This is ill Luck and bad timing,Sacking Julen Lopetegui a day before world cup is unexpected,— яηℓ.νєιи®™🦁 (@Duks_OG) June 13, 2018
Meanwhile Real Madrid should have allowed him get through the world cup before announcing the deal since he was already involved in a contract
lopetegui on hearing about his sacking pic.twitter.com/XDRHDfgdtc— Shubham Jha (@fatdocinmakin) June 13, 2018
Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales the person who sacked Julen Lopetegui looks like Zabaleta 😂 pic.twitter.com/fOap5ZH6uS— Ali (@RoyMustang786) June 13, 2018
Lopetegui: I’m signing with Madrid after we get back from the World Cup, Pique.— Calcio (@Osakwe__) June 13, 2018
Pique: Who is we? pic.twitter.com/iFNuZ4ruf9
Julen Lopetegui as Spain's manager pic.twitter.com/0pkCtjcmTB— Qasim Farooq (@MangoLassC) June 13, 2018