The new Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has been sacked by Spain on eve of World Cup kick-off
Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as manager of the Spanish national team, after accepting the real Madrid job offer on Tuesday. The announcement initially claimed that the 51-year-old would take over the Santiago Bernabeu after the conclusion of the tournament, but the Spanish Football Federation have acted now.
Lopetegui has signed a three-year deal to succeed Zinedine Zidane with the Champions League holders and it was decided that in the circumstances it was inappropriate for him to continue with Spain.
The Spanish Football Federation’s president Luis Rubiales was supposed to be at FIFA’s congress in Moscow on Wednesday but flew to Spain’s training base late on Tuesday night to deal with the matter.
“We have decided to fire the national coach,” Luis Rubiales said. “What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck.”
Rubiales insists he does not feel deceived but has suggested that Real acted inappropriately in this situation.
“I don’t feel betrayed. Lopetegui has done impeccable work. How all this has been done is something else.
“I have spoken with the players and I can guarantee they will do everything, along with the new coach, to take the team as far as possible.
“Real Madrid look for the best coach, that is fine by me. I have no opinion about how Real Madrid act. But the federation has an obligation, to represent all Spaniards.”
Spain face Portugal on Friday, and will also face Iran and Morocco in Group B. Rubiales has not revealed who will be in charge for La Roja’s opening game of the tournament, but insists that an announcement will be made in due course.
“We are going to touch as little as possible,” he said. “We are working on it. When we know we will tell you.”
“I have spoken with the players and I can guarantee they will do everything, along with the new coach, to take the team as far as possible. To win is very important, to have the best coach very important, but above everything is acting in the right way. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end, it will make us stronger.”
With Spain set to play Portugal on Friday, starting the tournament with a different manager may disrupt the squad. This move may cause La Roja fans to fear for their team who are one of the favourites to win the tournament. Has this changed everything? Let us know what you think. Tweet us @osportsblog!