Cesar Azpilicueta
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

Julen Lopetegui, the manager of Cesar Azpilicueta’s national team, Spain, has been sacked just one day before the start of the World Cup.

Azpilicueta was the only Chelsea player to be selected by Lopetegui for the World Cup, with Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas and Marcos Alonso all missing out. That’s a sackable offence in itself, but not the reason behind his dismissal.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Lopetegui would replace Zinedine Zidane as manager of Real Madrid. Antonio Conte had been linked with the vacant post, but his move to the Santiago Bernabeu never materialised.

Lopetegui secured the role. It was bizarre timing for the announcement, but it’s not the first time it’s happened. Louis Van Gaal was confirmed as the new Manchester United manager prior to the Netherlands’ World Cup campaign, and they reached the semi-finals.

The Spanish FA appear to have their feelings hurt, though, and have made the rather foolish decision to part with Lopetegui just a day before the World Cup begins. Spain, who were considered one of the favourites to win it, have now been tossed into turmoil.

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