Julen Lopetegui's final words to Spain squad revealed after shock sacking

Ross Houston
June 14, 2018

The announcement came just a day before the start of the World Cup in Russian Federation, and two days before Spain's opening game against Portugal.

No decision has yet been made over who will take charge with Spain due to face European champions Portugal in Sochi on Friday.

President of the Spanish FA Luis Rubiales has said that he had no choice but to sack Lopetegui, despite the World Cup starting tomorrow, and insisted he wanted a national team that represented all Spaniards. "We wish him the best of luck", he said.

"The federation can not be left out of a negotiation by one of its workers and be informed five minutes before the press release", Rubiales said.

"If anyone wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us, too".

The club released a statement this afternoon to that effect which said: "Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation".

"Many of the staff are still with us and we've watched videos about the upcoming match, so we have to be intelligent and coherent".

Rubiales said the players, who Spanish media said had tried to dissuade him from such drastic action, had vowed to give everything for the team.

You cannot do things this way.

I'm very surprised at the timing of it - two days before their opening game - but they still have an excellent, experienced squad with some top players in it.

Lopetegui replaced Vicente del Bosque as Spain's manager after it didn't make it out of group play at the 2014 World Cup and its failure to defend its European Championship title in 2016.

Lopetegui had signed a contract extension until 2020 just last month and never tasted defeat in his 20 games in charge as Spain boss. Julen has worked in a great way with the team, but we can not accept how he has acted in this case. "Yesterday, today and tomorrow, together", Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos.

"I do not feel betrayed because Julen has done a relentless job, but we are forced to move on this because of how things have been done", Rubiales continued.

Spain have named Fernando Hierro as Julen Lopetegui's replacement following the new Real Madrid boss' sacking. "If I wasn't sure that we couldn't have a great tournament, I wouldn't be here", Hierro said.

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