The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take centre stage across the globe when it begins tomorrow. However, while the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia should be the main talking point, the shock sacking of Spain manager Julen Lopetegui has stolen the headlines on the eve of the tournament.

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The news came after he was appointed head coach of Real Madrid for next season with the Spanish Football Federation claiming that they weren’t made aware of ongoing negotiations with the Champions League winners. Former Galactico, Fernando Hierro has been hired to replace Lopetegui despite Albert Celades being the standalone favourite to take up the role.

Cesc Fabregas, who wasn’t selected for Spain’s 23-man squad, took to social media with his reaction to the sacking. The Chelsea midfielder joked by saying “maybe I get a call up now” in response to Gary Lineker’s tweet.

Fabregas has been confirmed as part of the BBC Sport team covering the tournament in Russia and his punditry role will begin for his country’s opening game against Portugal on Friday. The World Cup winner then tweeted again showing his support for the 2010 champions despite the “difficult situation” faced by some of his former team-mates.

After failing to receive a single call-up for his national side since the appointment of Lopetegui following Euro 2016, it won’t have come as a surprise to the former Barcelona man but he will be disappointed all the same. Many Spanish fans have applauded Fabregas’ humility in the wake of not being picked.

Fellow Chelsea Spaniards, Pedro and Alvaro Morata, also missed out on the squad with the latter being particularly surprising. The one Blues star who was selected for Las Rojas is Cesar Azpilicueta who isn’t necessarily expected to play a big role in their World Cup campaign. However, with Dani Carvajal not being completely fit, the 28-year-old might feature at right-back as Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique are ahead of him in the central defensive pecking order.


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