Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Spain nationwide coach on the eve of the World Cup, sooner or later after agreeing to take over at Real Madrid.
In a information convention at Spain’s coaching base in Krasnodar, Russia, Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales mentioned Lopetegui’s destiny was sealed simply two days forward of the group’s World Cup opening recreation as he couldn’t settle for an RFEF worker having negotiated a transfer to Real Madrid after the event with out informing his employers.
The information caught lately elected RFEF chief Rubiales in Moscow for the vote on the World Cup 2026 host nation, however he flew again to Krasnodar for an emergency assembly with Lopetegui after which his private choice was introduced at a information convention.
“We have been obliged to fire the national coach,” Rubiales mentioned. “We wish him the best, he has done an excellent job in getting us to the tournament. But the federation cannot be left outside the negotiation of one of its employees, and find out just five minutes before a public announcement. If anybody wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us too, that is basic, as this is the team of all Spaniards. The national team is the most important we have, the World Cup is the biggest of all.”
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Ex-Spain and Madrid defender Fernando Hierro can also be with the group in Russia as sporting director, whereas former U21 boss Albert Celades was a part of Lopetegui’s teaching group. Either or each may now take cost of Friday night’s recreation in Sochi towards Portugal.
“What we will do is touch as little as possible the national camp,” Rubiales mentioned. “We are working on it. When we know we will tell you. We are all affected by this, but we must think about the best for the federation and the team. All this is a big blow, but we are training again this afternoon, will stick together and move forward. The players are very focused and they have told me they are fully committed, and will give 100 percent.”
Rubiales prompt he had taken the choice personally, because the behaviour of each Lopetegui and Real Madrid had not met the extent anticipated of these concerned in Spanish soccer.
“I took a plane, came back from Moscow, missed the vote on the next World Cup to be here,” he mentioned. “We had to react, I know that whatever I do I will be criticised, I accept that. But the values of the federation come first. I am sure Julen would have preferred it another way, and we wish him the best. He is a top coach for me, which made the decision very difficult. 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.”
Spain’s gamers, led by nationwide group and Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, had been reportedly in favour of Lopetegui staying on for the event. Rubiales repeatedly dodged questions over whether or not he had taken their recommendation earlier than making the choice to fireplace the coach.
“I’ve a very close relationship with the players, also with Julen,” he mentioned. “It has been a very difficult decision, the most difficult for me. 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 [at this World Cup].”
Reports say that the previous Madrid and Barcelona goalkeeper, whose consultant Caros Bucero works intently with Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, will triple his wage with the transfer.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based soccer author who covers La Liga and the Spain nationwide group for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan