Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sport | By

Spain 'forced' to sack Julen Lopetegui on eve of World Cup 2018

Spain 'forced' to sack Julen Lopetegui on eve of World Cup 2018

Here is a selection of how the world's media treated the news.

The Spanish FA president and former Hamilton Academical defender Luis Rubiales explaining the decision to terminate Lopetegui's contract. "What the Spanish team achieves, will have to do with the work he has developed", Rubiales told reporters at a press conference in Krasnodar.

Il Corriere dello Sport: Earthquake in Spain. Lopetegui was sacked by Porto the following January after a string of poor results. Madrid has unleashed this furious reaction of the federation.

After short spells at Rayo Vallecano and with Madrid's youth team Real Madrid Castilla, Lopetegui enjoyed a successful time with Spain's under-19s and under-21s. As Rubiales explained, the motive for the sacking was the way that it was handled, "until five minutes before, I knew nothing".

The RFEF have said that the decision was because the negotiations took place "without any information to the RFEF". Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger. Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup, after creating a Spanish storm when he signed "in secret" with Real Madrid.

Bild: Earthquake in Spain.

Read all of Business Insider's World Cup coverage here.

In the first reaction to the decision, former Spain forward Juanito said Rubiales' arguments had been impeccable. Spain went 14-0-6 in his 20 games in charge-unblemished and in form entering the World Cup.

The Iberian derby will not be about Cristiano v Ramos - Lopetegui The timing of the announcement is sure to spark debate for a Spain squad only belatedly finding some harmony since Lopetegui took over. The players tried to put the brakes on the decision.

MADRID SPAIN- JUNE 14 Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui speaks during a press conference at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu

The World Cup will kick off in Russian Federation on Thursday and bring the "greatest show on earth" to the Kremlin's doorstep. Lopetegui will leave without losing a game with the team.

Lopetegui was surprisingly named Real Madrid manager on Tuesday and was meant to take charge at the Santiago Bernabeu after the tournament.

The development came a day after it emerged he would be replacing Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid manager in time for next season.

"If I was not convinced we could have a good World Cup I would not be here", he said.

In one of his first actions, Rubiales canceled a previously arranged "vacation" trip by officials to the World Cup that would cost almost 2 million euros ($3 million).

"I have spoken with the players and what I can guarantee is that the players will do everything in their power, along with the new technical team to take the team as far as possible", said Rubiales.

The Spanish FA will now look to finalise a replacement coach in a matter of hours.

Well, Spain and Barcelona legend Xavi certainly thinks so.


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