Real Madrid announce Lopetegui as new manager

Lynette Rowe
June 14, 2018

Spain have sacked their head coach Julen Lopetegui only two days before the start of the World Cup due to his appointment as new Real Madrid boss. Their first game is against Euro 2016 winners Portugal on Friday and they will also play Morocco and Iran during the group stage.

The Spanish giants announced that the current Spanish national team boss Julen Lopetegui will take up the role at the Bernabeu after his commitment with them ends after this summer's World Cup in 2018. "We wish you the greatest of luck", said Rubiales to (via BBC Sport).

Rubiales had been riled by being told of Lopetegui's decision to take the Real job just five minutes before it was made public.

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

The 50-year-old former national team captain was appointed within hours of the announcement of Lopetegui's departure.

"My message is: "We have a magnificent team and hopefully we can go to win the World Cup" but I cannot say any more than that".

We will have more to come as this story develops. The Spanish FA's president Luis Rubiales having to fly back from a Federation Internationale de Football Association congress to where the Spain squad are based in Krasnodar.

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Lopetegui signed a three-year deal with the UEFA Champions League winners on Tuesday but was poised to lead the La Furia Roja to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

Julen Lopetegui, then manager of Spain, looks on prior to an worldwide friendly match between Spain and Switzerland at Estadio de La Ceramica on June 3, 2018 in Villareal, Spain.

As a player he won the Champions League and titles in Italy and Spain as well as the World Cup and European Championship, and added a Spanish title and three successive Champions League wins as Real manager.

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 and Luis Rubiales, who was elected federation president last month, will hold a press conference at Spain's base camp in Krasnodar, Russia, on Wednesday. "We have been compelled to act".

He was waved off by a number of Spain's coaching team, though three will follow him to Real: Assistant Pablo Sanz, fitness coach Oscar Garro and mental coach Juan Carlos Alvarez Campillo. Lopetegui had recently signed a new deal with Spain on May 22 extending his contract until 2020.

"I do not feel betrayed, Lopetegui, while he has been with us, has done an impeccable job, another is how this has been done, without knowledge of the federation".

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