Spain have taken the bold decision to sack their manager Julen Lopetegui just a day before the World Cup kicks off in Russia.
Lopetegui was recently confirmed as the next Real Madrid boss earlier this week and the early announcement has backfired.
The 51-year-old will replace Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu this summer following the Frenchman’s decision to step down.
The Spanish Football Federation have taken the decision to part ways early rather than wait until after the tournament, despite Spain playing their first game of the competition on Friday against Portugal.
Madrid’s announcement of Lopetegui’s impending move is said to have angered those behind the scenes at the Spanish national team.
The Spanish Football Federation will now look to make an appointment before the game against Portugal.
We’ve taken a look at who could be in line to replace him.
Albert Celades is one of the leading contenders to replace Lopetegui in the short term.
Celades is currently in charge of the Spanish U-21 side and would be a sensible pick.
Making the step up from the U-21 is likely to be the easiest transition from Lopetegui, with Celades familiar with the Spaniard’s style of play.
Zidane recently left Real Madrid and is one of the names being discussed in the media for the Spain job.
He is available and is familiar with large sections of the squad through is time at Real Madrid.
The appointment is one of that might not go down well with the Barcelona contingent of the Spain squad, but Zidane is one of few managers available right now.
The Real Betis boss has earned plenty of plaudits for the job he has done in La Liga.
Setien could be considered as someone to come in and take over after the tournament, but a call from the Spanish national team would be hard to turn down for any manager.
Betis finished sixth in La Liga last season and Setien has plenty of admirers.
The Newcastle manager has long been linked with the Spain job.
There was interest back in 2016 when Vicente del Bosque left his post with the national team.
Benitez’s future at Newcastle has always been up in the air, despite the successful job he has done in the Premier League.
He has made it clear he would like to finish the job he started there, but he has always endured a tough relationship with those behind the scenes.
Just moments after the news was confirmed that Lopetegui would leave, the former Barcelona defender posted a cryptic tweet.
The defender confirmed he was on his way to Russia for the World Cup.
We may be reading too much into this, but he is one to keep an eye on.
Fernando Hierro has been discussed as a potential short-term successor to Lopetegui.
The former Real Madrid player is currently in Russia working as a sporting director for the national team, so he is there ready and waiting.
Hierro worked as a number two at Madrid under Zinedine Zidane before enduring a brief stint in charge of Real Oviedo.