Spain sack manager Julen Lopetegui on eve of tournament
14 Juin, 2018, 03:22 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
Lopetegui was let go a day after Real Madrid announced him as its new manager beginning after the World Cup.
Speaking to the media, Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales expressed dissatisfaction over Lopetegui not informing the association members regarding his decision to take over the reigns as Real Madrid coach. "Nobody thought about what was best for the national team".
"We have a great opportunity and that should be the focus".
In a surprise move, Real Madrid announced that Spain manager Lopetegui would be taking over the reigns at the Santiago Bernabéu, picking up from the recently departed Zinedine Zidane, once he finishes his campaign with the national side in Russian Federation for the World Cup.
Lopetegui and Perez informed Rubiales just five minutes before Real's announcement, only three days before their first World Cup game, and the RFEF felt it was "unacceptable". I have a very clear conscience, and from there we take on the challenge we have in front of us. "But the federation have an obligation, to represent all Spaniards", he said. "We have been compelled to make this decision".
A replacement for Lopetegui has not been announced.
Because he was sacked, Madrid won't have to pay the 2 million euros ($2.3 million) of the termination clause on Lopetegui's contract.
But Hierro, a former Madrid and Spain captain, avoided getting into the rights and wrongs of how he has ended up in the job in such dramatic fashion and told his presentation news conference that he was only interested in looking forward and maintaining the good work which had been done to this point.
"They realised very quickly that Klopp has got a very close link with Liverpool and couldn't get him out of there, and with Conte they weren't sure he was what was needed for Real Madrid".
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"You can not do these things two to three days before a World Cup".
Lopetegui will likely spend the summer assessing Real Madrid's options in the transfer window.
While not a first foray into management for Hierro, the RFEF's sporting director, it is nevertheless a daunting task that awaits.
He has already denied he left in order to take over as France boss from Didier Deschamps following the World Cup.
The coach had signed a contract extension on 22 May, which would have seen him stay in charge of La Furia Roja until after the 2020 UEFA European Championship. He is a top coach for me, which made the decision very hard. "He is a top coach, and that made it harder to make this decision", Rubiales said.
"There has to be a message to all RFEF employees and there are ways of behaving that you need to abide by".
Until Tuesday, Spain, together with Germany and Brazil, had been one of the favorites to the win the World Cup.
The daunting task of refocusing the team on Friday's match against European champion Portugal is now on Hierro's shoulders. He was elected president over Juan Luis Larrea, the federation's former treasurer and its interim leader since Villar was suspended following his arrest past year on suspicion of corruption.
When Diego Maradona was sent home after testing positive for a banned drug during the 1994 World Cup, Argentina never recovered and were knocked out by Romania in the second round.
"We are all affected", Rubiales said about Lopetegui's departure.
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