Madrid want to present Lopetegui as their new coach on Thursday

World Cup 2018 David de Gea Spain girlfriend Edurne Garcia Instagram shirt

INSTAGRAM • REUTERS • GETTYWorld Cup 2018 David de Gea's girlfriend Edurne cheered on the team on Instagram today

"I am here to say that we feel obliged to sack the national team manager", said Rubiales.

"The federation can not be left out of a negotiation by one of its workers and be informed five minutes before the press release", Rubiales said. Julen has worked in a great way with the team, but we can not accept how he has acted in this case.

Rubiales was backed by former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who was a regular supporter of the federation president when he was the Spanish players' union president.

"The RFEF can not stay on the margin of the contractual situation of one of its workers", he said. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.

World Cup 2018 David de Gea Spain girlfriend Edurne Garcia Instagram shirt
INSTAGRAMWorld Cup 2018 David de Gea's girlfriend Edurne cheered him from home

A news conference was hastily arranged in the wake of Real Madrid's announcement that Lopetegui would succeed Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu next season.

"We've come to fight for the World Cup", said the 50-year-old ex-Spain and Real Madrid defender.

"There's a lot to do".

Spain begin their World Cup campaign against neighbours Portugal on Friday, but who will be in the dugout for La Roja remains to be seen.

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'The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards. We are working on it.

"You can not do these things two to three days before a World Cup".

It's quite stunning news and certainly is a massive distraction for this team.

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. "We all know what this means and our responsibilities".

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"We have a magnificent team and I hope that we win the World Cup".

"There are many questions around a contract, and transparency", Rubiales said.

Everything appeared to be running smoothly for Spain, with Lopetegui leading the team on a 20-match unbeaten streak and turning it into a top title contender again after disappointing eliminations from the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship.

Lopetegui was picked as Del Bosque's replacement mostly because of his success with Spain's youth squads.

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The teams met in the semi-final of Euro 2012, with Spain advancing on penalties, but Portugal got the best of its rival in the group stage of Euro 2004, winning 1-0.

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