Spain coach Fernando Hierro steps down following World Cup elimination

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez

Hierro took interim charge of Spain on the eve of the tournament in Russian Federation, after Julen Lopetegui was dramatically sacked as La Roja boss following the announcement of his appointment by Real Madrid.

Hierro previously held the sports director position from 2007-2011, too, when the national team won the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup.

Sporting director Hierro guided the side to the Round of 16 after Lopetegui was sacked for taking the Real Madrid job without consent from the Spanish national team.

It didn't go well with Spain losing on penalties to Russian Federation in the second round and Hierro quit.

"After many kilometers of walking together, the Spanish [Football Association] and Fernando Hierro put an end to their relationship once the participation of Spain in the World Cup has come to an end", the organization said in a statement on Sunday.

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"The Federation would also like to highlight the professional and human values shown by an extraordinary sportsman to whom it wishes the best of luck for the future".

Hierro was named caretaker manager as La Roja were dumped out at the round of 16 stage by hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

Interestingly, the 50-year-old Hierro was handed the managerial position after ex-boss Lopetetgui quit the role to join the Los Blancos as new manager.

Hierro's time as Spanish boss was short and not-so-sweet having spent just four games in charge, losing to Russian Federation on penalties in the knockout round of 16.

According to Daily Star, Newcastle United manager is the latest name to be added to the shortlist that already includes Roberto Martinez, Quique Sanchez Flores and Luis Enrique A possible replacements.

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