Rafael Benitez: Spain wanted Newcastle boss at World Cup

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez was approached by the Spanish Football Federation about taking temporary charge of Spain at the World Cup, BBC Sport understands. The RFEF wanted the 58-year-old after Julen Lopetegui was sacked two days before Spain’s opening match. Fernando Hierro took charge on an interim basis as they went on to lose on penalties to Russia in the last-16. Ex-Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has now been appointed on a two-year contract. Speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle, Benitez said: "There was maybe a chance, but still I am here and I am happy to be here. There was a chance. There were rumours about that."

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