Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales sacked Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament, citing his conduct in agreeing to become the next Real coach without informing his current employers. But the federation can not be left outside the negotiation of one of its employees, and find out just five minutes before a public announcement.
He said: "I'm very sad but we're hoping that we can win the World Cup".
Lopetegui is out for the "Real Madrid case": "We have made a decision to release Lopetegui", said the president of the RFEF Luis Rubiales.
"It's a hard situation, but we are not the ones who determined the action that had to be taken". Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.
The 50-year-old addressed the media at their World Cup base in Krasnodar for the first time since being appointed Spain's new head coach, replacing Lopetegui after his sacking on Wednesday morning.
We have to work on a series of decisions that come two days before the beginning of the World Cup.
"There's a lot to do". He coached second-division club Real Oviedo two seasons ago and was Malaga's general manager after leaving his sports director position with the Spanish federation in 2011. The former defender, who last month signed a new contract through to 2020 with Spain, spent three years with Real as a player.
Former Real Madrid star Hierro has been working in the Spanish national team set-up since his appointment as sporting director last November, with the move to appoint him as Lopetegui's replacement created to dilute the confusion around the squad.
The news still came as a shock to the Spain team, who are now in Krasnodar preparing for their game on Friday against Portugal. We have been forced to act.
The club announces that Julen Lopetegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons.
There are six Madrid players in Spain's team for the World Cup. I admire Julen very much, I respect him very much. What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck.
Rubiales accused Lopetgui of betraying the federation's values.
Record: The discontent in the Spanish camp after Lopetegui was announced as the new manager of Real Madrid leaves him without a World Cup.
"My future? The important thing is the World Cup and not to think of anything else that can divert you or upset you", De Gea, who is on national team duties with Spain told reporters.