La Roja travelled to Russia as one of the favourites after Lopetegui revitalised an uber-talented squad that had grown stale at the end of Vicente Del Bosque’s golden era.
But once it emerged that Lopetegui had agreed a deal to take over at Real Madrid after the tournament, the Spanish football federation took the brave decision to part company, only for the call to backfire spectacularly as Spain were dumped out by Russia in the round of 16.
Fernando Hierro took charge of his country at the World Cup but it seems that he was nothing more than an interim appointment. Spain are now looking for permanent successors and this could impact Nottingham Forest’s pre-season preparations.
The 44-year-old managed his country at U16 level between 2008 and 2010 before leaving to assist Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and it is understood that the decision makers believe he is the right kind of man to take the national team forward.
Also on the list are former Barcelona treble-winner Luis Enrique, Quique Sanches Flores and Pepe Mel. The latter two will be familiar to English football fans from their work at Watford and West Brom respectively.