Just weeks after taking over as the president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), Rubiales was announcing the sacking of national team coach Julen Lopetegui.
After short spells at Rayo Vallecano and with Madrid's youth team Real Madrid Castilla, Lopetegui enjoyed a successful time with Spain's under-19s and under-21s. (We were told) just five minutes before the press release. "We have been obliged to act". "It is a hard and painful situation, we would have liked to finish here with Julen at the top, but we have not determined the way we act". "The federation has its values and it has to maintain them", Rubiales said. We have been forced to make this decision.
"Lopetegui did not attend the news conference but was expected to speak to the media after returning to Spain".
Spain has sacked coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup. "There's a lot to do". He has done well through the levels with Spain, he is doing well now, and even though they have stuttered in some of the World Cup warm-up games, the football being played by Spain has been fantastic.
Lopetegui was announced as the Real Madrid coach on Tuesday.
Hierro, who also spent a season at Bolton Wanderers during his playing days, is now Spain's sporting director and will step into the role for the time being.
Was roster influenced by move to Real?
The president said what had happened wasn't the best solution for the team but said action was needed after it was surprised by the Real Madrid announcement. The Spanish team is the team of all Spain.
During his playing career he won three league titles, the European Cup Winners' Cup and the Olympic gold medal with Spain in 1992. The former defender, who last month signed a new contract through to 2020 with Spain, spent three years with Real as a player.
"I don't want to get into how Real Madrid should go about things". It has not lost a match since a 2-0 loss Italy in the European Championships round of 16 almost two years ago.
Spain's first game at the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup is against neighbours Portugal on Friday.
Since hanging up his gloves he has taken on various roles with the Spanish youth teams, before moving to Porto in 2014.
Rubiales took over a federation which was in the hands of embattled official Angel Maria Villar for almost three decades.