Football

Fernando Hierro Holds First Press Conference Following Julen Lopetegui's Exit

Fernando Hierro Holds First Press Conference Following Julen Lopetegui's Exit

Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales sent ripples throughout Spain today after he sacked Julen Lopetegui, after the Spain coach agreed to join Real Madrid without consulting his current employers.

Rubiales condemned Lopetegui's actions in a statement:

We have to decided to fire the national coach. What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck.

The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards. We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid.

There is a way that you must act, Julen has worked in a great way with the team, but we cannot accept how he has acted in this case.

Fernando Hierro is the man who has been tasked with replacing Lopetegui, the former Spain international had been Spanish football's sporting director before accepting the job, and the 50-year-old took part in a press conference today with Rubiales in order to pick up the pieces from a disastrous day for Spanish football.

The whole affair came across as a PR exercise with neither Hierro or Rubiales wishing to make any bold statements following a traumatic day for Spanish football.

Hierro stated he had been 'welcomed with open arms' by the team and called the situation a 'marvellous challenge', despite the circumstances.

When asked how they would approach the Portugal game Hierro insisted he would stick to the preparation of Lopetegui, given the time constraints surrounding the team:

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We cannot alter two years of hard work in the coming days. Many of the staff are still with us and we've watched videos about the upcoming match, so we have to be intelligent and coherent.

From now until the Portugal match, we don't have the ability to change much. I have been at all the other training sessions and have been present day to day.

We cannot change anything in two days. They key is to change as little as possible.

When pressed on whether he would manage Spain beyond the world cup Hierro insisted he was only focused on the Portugal game as well as Spain's other two group games.

Rubiales was questioned as to whether the Spanish FA would receive €2 million euro from Real Madrid following Lopetegui's move but the former footballer said that the Spanish FA would have liaise with Real Madrid and Lopetegui before revealing the fallout from his acrimonious departure.

Hierro was asked about how Real Madrid handled the situation but the former Madrid player refused to comment on the La Liga side's actions.

Rubiales also revealed to reporters that the situation has been causing him health problems but that his spirits are now up having found a solution to Spain's crisis.

Spain face Portugal on Friday in the Fisht Olympic Stadium at 7pm, and all eyes will be on Hierro and his team as they look to put this incident behind them.

See Also: Spain Sensationally Sack Manager Just A Day Before The World Cup

Eoin Lyons

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