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Fernando Hierro has quit as Spain manager after their World Cup howler.

The former Real Madrid star has also walked away from his position as sporting director of the national team, the position he held before the competition.

Hierro took charge of Spain the day before the opening day of the World Cup after Julen Lopetegui was sacked for announcing that he would become manager of Real Madrid.

But despite leading them to the top of Group B, they crashed out of the competition at the last-16 stage to hosts Russia.

They took an early lead in the game but were pegged back before half-time, before being taken all the way to penalties.

A statement from Spain’s governing body, the RFEF, said: “After many kilometres of walking together, the Royal Spanish Football Federation and Fernando Hierro put an end to their relationship once the participation of Spain in the World Cup in Russia ended.

“The last Spanish coach declined to return to his previous position as sports director of the RFEF to seek new horizons and undertake new professional challenges.

“After two stages as sports director of the Federation, the first between 2007 and 2011 – coinciding with the best stage of the National Soccer Team, which won the 2008 European Championship with Luis Aragones as coach and the 2010 World Cup with Vicente del Bosque – and the second from November 2017 until now, the RFEF wants to thank Fernando Hierro for his commitment and sense of responsibility when he takes the lead in the national team in extraordinary situations as well as in the performance of all his duties, which will always be his home.”

 

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