With barely 24 hours to go for the commencement of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, former champions Spain have replaced their coach with a former captain.
The announcement by Madrid is said to have stirred tension in the camp of La Furia ahead of their World Cup opener with Portugal on Saturday.
A few hours after Lopetegui was sacked, the Spanish football federation announced Fernando Hierro as his replacement.
The former Real Madrid and Spain captain is expected to coach the 2010 world champions in Russia.
They will play in Group B.