Real legend takes Spanish reins after shock sacking

Fernando Hierro has been appointed as Spain’s head coach for the World Cup after the extraordinary axing of Julen Lopetegui.

The 2010 world champions sacked Lopetegui on Wednesday afternoon, literally on the eve of the World Cup and two days before their match against Portugal in Sochi. Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui, who just last month renewed his national team contract until 2020, would assume the manager’s post left vacant by Zinedine Zidane. The Football Federation was reportedly left furious and decided to end his term before he intended to at the end of the tournament.

Shortly after the news, it was announced their director of football and former Spain and Real Madrid captain Hierro would take the post for the duration of the tournament.

“Fernando Hierro will assume the position of national coach in the World Championship of Russia and will appear before the media accompanied by the president RFEF, Luis Rubiales,” a statement from the federation said.

“Next, he will direct his first training and on Friday he will debut in Sochi at the match of Spain against Portugal.”

Hierro is a bonafide legend at both club and international level. A centre-back with endless composure and smooth passing skills, he played over 500 times for Los Blancos, winning five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies. He was one short of 90 caps for the national team and scored a remarkable 29 goals for La Roja.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.


Eastern Cape schools to only open for grades 3, 6...

The province says the increase in Covid-19 cases has made it re-evaluate some decisions

Malawi celebrates independence day, but the first president left his...

The historical record shows that Malawi’s difficulties under Hastings Banda were evident at the very moment of the country’s founding

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku’s first rule: Don’t panic

As Gauteng braces for its Covid-19 peak, the province’s MEC for health, Bandile Masuku, is putting his training to the test as he leads efforts to tackle the impending public health crisis

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday