Spanish first division club Osasuna fired coach Jose Antonio Camacho on Monday after the side's 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad at the weekend left them in the relegation zone.
Osasuna said it would name a replacement for the 55-year-old shortly, with local media reporting former Valladolid coach Jose Luis Mendilibar was poised to fill the vacancy at the club.
Camacho, who coached the Spanish national team between 1998 and 2002, said he was surprised to be let go. "I am sad because they are not letting me work and because I have to say good-bye to friends here. And I am a bit upset because I am not able to train," he told reporters.
"I did not expect it but coaches are always there to put out the fire and take the blame," he went on. "This year has been harder but I have always been dedicated, I have worked hard and have coached from the first minute until the last. I arrived at Osasuna to keep the team in the first division and I am leaving it in the first division.
"I was here for two seasons and in both we have met our goal and it would be the case in my third season here," the coach said.
Osasuna are third from bottom in the Primera Liga, three points ahead of last-placed Malaga, after their loss on Sunday to Real Sociedad. The club, based in the northern town of Pamplona, finished in 12th and 15th place in the two previous seasons with Camacho in charge.
He joined the club in October 2008 after spells at Benfica, Real Madrid and Espanyol. As Spain coach, he guided the national team to the quarter-finals of both UEFA EURO 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup™.