Spanish terrestrial station Telecinco has broadcast exclusive footage that shows Spanish national team manager Julen Lopetegui and sporting director Fernando Hierro chatting alone in the side's World Cup base. The conversation took place just a few hours after the news broke that Lopetegui would be taking over as the new manager of Real Madrid following his duties at this summer's World Cup.
Animated Hierro and Lopetegui
In the images that can be seen on their website, both men take a walk around the training camp and there are several instances where Real Madrid legend Hierro gives animated gestures towards the head coach who, in the early stages of the video also gesticulates to Hierro. The suggestion is that this was not a chat about tactics or potential line-up against Portugal on Friday but on the decision made about moving on.
Journalist and presenter of the show J.J. Santos said on the programme that Hierro did not know about Lopetegui's decision to break his contract with the national team before Tuesday, when the news shook Spanish football. Despite the reverberations, the reason the announcement was made ahead of the World Cup was to avoid the story being leaked during the competition and negatively impacting on the squad.
Hierro replaces Lopetegui
Since that meeting, the situation for both men has changed...significantly! On Wednesday the president of the Spanish Football Federation held a press conference in which he announced that Lopetegui had been sacked from his role as manager. Shortly after, Hierro, who had advised Rubiales not to act, was appointed as the successor for the duration of the 2018 World Cup.