Watch: Ex-Spain coach Julen Lopetegui flies back to Russia

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Early exit: Julen Lopetegui

Just hours after being sacked as Spain’s head coach, Julen Lopetegui has flown back home from Russia.

The 51-year-old was revealed as the new Real Madrid manager on Tuesday – an announcement that left the Spanish Football Federation incenced after he had not discussed the move with them.

Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales only came to know of the news five minutes before Los Blancos announced the news and he swiftly acted by replacing Lopetegui with ex-Spanish defender Fernando Hierro on Wednesday.

Watch the video of Lopetegui ahead of his departure from Russia below:

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World Cup set to kick off month-long showcase of top footballing nations and stars

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Luzhniki Stadium in Russia.

The World Cup kicks off in Russia on Thursday as years of preparations give way to a month-long feast of action on the field.

Russia get the ball rolling against Saudi Arabia at the completely refurbished 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow after an opening ceremony attended by President Vladimir Putin.

Brazil and their superstar Neymar are seeking a sixth global crown while Germany, who won their fourth World Cup in Brazil four years ago, will be determined to draw level with the Brazilians when the final is played in Moscow on July 15.

France boast possibly the most talented squad while Lionel Messi is desperate to make amends for Argentina’s defeat in the 2014 final.

On the field, Russia and the Saudis do not represent the most glamorous opener – they are the two lowest-ranked teams in the tournament.

“We have to take all the criticism and turn it into something positive,” Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov said.

The preparations of 2010 winners Spain are in tatters after coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked just two days before their opening game on Friday against Portugal. He had angered his federation by taking the job of Real Madrid manager.

While Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, has recovered from a broken bone in his foot in time, the strength of prolific Egypt striker Mohamed Salah‘s injured shoulder is less certain.

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Every World Cup group stage Moment of the Day in association with Hublot

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Hat-trick hero: Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Portugal

From the first kick to the final whistle we’ll be bringing you the Hublot World Cup Moment of the Day from Russia, so you won’t miss a kick from the greatest tournament on Earth.

Thursday 14th June – Day one

The time has arrived! 🙌 @hublotmea #HublotMEA x #HublotLovesFootball

A post shared by Sport360 (@sport360) on

Friday 15th June – Day two

Saturday 16th June – Day three

Sunday 17th June – Day four

Monday 18th June – Day five


Tuesday 19th June – Day six

Wednesday 20th June – Day seven

Thursday 21st June – Day eight

Friday 22nd June – Day nine

Saturday 23rd June – Day ten

Sunday 24th June – Day eleven


Monday 25th June – Day twelve

Tuesday 26th June – Day thirteen


Wednesday 27th June – Day fourteen

Thursday 28th June – Day fifteen

Friday 29th June – Day sixteen

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