Low shocked by Spain's Lopetegui 'bombshell'

Arnold Nichols
June 15, 2018

Spain's national football team Manager Julen Lopetegui has been sacked by the Spanish Football Federation, just one day before the start of the World Cup.

The Spanish Football Association president, Luis Rubiales, was said to be fuming after the announcement only learning about it 15 minutes before Real made it public.

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".

It's quite stunning news and certainly is a massive distraction for this team.

"We have to chose to fire the national coach", said Rubiales, who was supposed to be at Fifa's Congress in Moscow yesterday. It's safe to say though, that this certainly is a bad look on the coach, who didn't appear to be transparent in his intentions.

But in a staunch defence of their conduct, Pérez insisted that Madrid had acted clearly and transparently and expressed his surprise that Rubiales had taken such drastic action.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that Julen Lopetegui had been dismissed as the Spanish team's manager with little over 24 hours to go before the tournament kicked off.

"I came here aged 18 to play for Castilla, to experience the values and the loyalty".

And, while there will be much anger at the behaviour of Madrid and also Lopetegui, the decision to remove the coach after a two-year process despite the fact he was supported by the players surely leaves Spain much worse off than they would have been had he stayed. "I don't have to judge Real Madrid, the one who brought the matter to him is responsible because things can't be done that way".

"The team will do everything to get the best results, we can not talk about hypothesis, but the RFEF can not find out five minutes before it becomes public. If I didn't think we could win the World Cup, I wouldn't have accpeted it". We are working on it.

And it comes just three days before the 2010 World Cup winners begin their campaign in Russian Federation, as they face Portugal in Sochi on Friday. Former Spain great Fernando Hierro was named coach a short time later.

Germany kick off their World Cup title defence on Sunday when they face Mexico in Moscow, while Spain face European champions Portugal on Friday.

He added: "You never know, the players have already seen it all and sure, they can play a good role at the World Cup".

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