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Iberian rivals Portugal and Spain square off on Friday at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the second match of Group B. The neighbors, with plenty of familiar players and similar styles, go to battle in what is arguably the most highly-anticipated groups stage match of the cup.

Lopetegui was relieved of his duties on Wednesday after Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales learned - just five minutes before the official announcement was made - of his deal to become Real Madrid manager after the tournament in Russia. "We have a very clear job in mind".

The FC crew answer your tweets on Spain's chances at the World Cup after sacking their manager, Craig Burley and Steve Nicol's golf game and more.

The 2010 world champions sacked Lopetegui on Wednesday afternoon, literally on the eve of the World Cup and two days before their match against Portugal in Sochi.

How have these two days been?

The event started with Perez making a long prepared speech in which he said Rubiales' actions in firing Lopetegui were deliberately aimed at hurting the image of Real Madrid. "We have acted professionally and honestly".

Sport insist the other 22 players were disappointed with the coach because he had told them all to focus on the national team and not to think about their futures at club level. "We tried to be transparent, I am very clear that I have been fully loyal, no doubts".

It's a World Cup.

"I feel like I'm part of this family".

Gil explained in his report that the majority of the squad were upset with Lopetegui-bar Real captain Sergio Ramos-most of whom felt the hypocrisy after he had encouraged them to put club distractions on hold while they were at the World Cup.

There had been fears that the announcement of Lopetegui's appointment by Real could open up old divisions between the Madrid and Barcelona factions in the Spain squad.

"I've been near a ball for 30 years", Hierro said while dismissing his lack of coaching experience.

He described the day he was sacked as "the saddest day of my life since the death of my mother", and the 51-year-old former goalkeeper will surely find it hard to watch Friday's match.

"Julen you will get all support and I want to welcome you to your home, of Real Madrid". "It's not the best situation but at the same time, it unites them more and they give more of themselves, you never know". "He is clearly the best in the world at Real Madrid".