Spain manager Lopetegui sacked a day before World Cup 2018
Spain manager Lopetegui sacked a day before World Cup 2018
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13 June, 2018, 23:15
"We feel obliged to take this decision", Rubiales told a news conference at the team base in Krasnodar.
Lopetegui had extended his contract only three weeks ago to keep him in the job until Euro 2020, and it seems Luis Rubiales, the federation president, had no inkling his coach might leave.
Balague also recalled how close Lopetegui came to taking over at Wolves in 2016, before the national team came calling.
"We want to thank Julen for all he's done and he's a big reason behind us being in Russian Federation, but we feel obliged to dispense with his services", he said.
Already part of the backroom staff in Russian Federation, he is understood to have a good relationship with the squad, and as an 89-cap veteran of the national team nobody can suggest he does not know how tournament football works.
The Spanish Football Association reportedly believed it would be inappropriate for Lopetegui to continue his tenure, considering he only informed the Spanish FA of dealings with Real just minutes before the official press release from the mega-club.
"I've been at all the training sessions, in the day-to-day we've been present and I can't change anything in these two days".
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The Spanish FA felt Lopetegui acted unprofessionally for agreeing a deal to join Real Madrid after the World Cup ends in July - so it fired him.
Either or both could now take charge of Friday evening's game in Sochi against Portugal.
With one of the best teams in the world at their disposal, the mess in the Spanish camp will be a welcome development for their Group B foes - Portugal, Iran and Morocco. Lopetegui, while he's been with us, has done impeccable work.
"The players will do everything in their reach to win the World Cup". He previously was an assistant coach at Real Madrid and manager of Spanish second-division club Real Oviedo. Hierro, the national team's sporting director, is due to address the media later on Wednesday.
"I know it's a very hard situation. Nobody gifts you anything at a World Cup, one bad game sends you home, we all know the responsibility we have". I have a very close relationship with the players, as with Julen, it's a very complex situation, the most complex one I could find.
"We're all hurt by this situation, I've told the players my reasons for doing it and they understand".
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