Julen Lopetegui ‘very sad’ following shock departure from World Cup

Sacked Spain coach Julen Lopetegui admits he is “very sad” about his shock departure from the World Cup.

The 51-year-old was relieved of his duties on the eve of the tournament after Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales learned – just five minutes before the official announcement was made – of his deal to become Real Madrid manager after the tournament.

“I am very sad, but hoping that we have a magnificent World Cup and that we win,” Lopetegui told reporters from Cadena SER and COPE as left Krasnodar airport for a flight to Madrid.

Former Spain coach Javier Clemente has accused Rubiales of being “clueless” in his role.

“Speaking in football terms, in terms of what a club is and what sports management is, Rubiales is clueless,” he told radio station Onda Vasca.

“He is a rookie and his arguments are always a bit dictatorial.”

Director of football Fernando Hierro has stepped into the breach left after Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales sacked Julen Lopetegui (Manu Fernandez/AP)

The Spain squad, with director of football Fernando Hierro now in charge, left Krasnodar bound for Sochi on Thursday ahead of their World Cup opener with Portugal at the weekend.

- Press Association


Related Articles

Russian security agency claims drone attacks thwarted at World Cup

‘Hero’ pilot killed in Leicester helicopter crash was ‘living the dream’

Ireland interested in joint bid to host 2030 World Cup

Ireland set to join bid to host the 2030 World Cup

More in this Section

Leeds’ Championship rivals complain to EFL over spygate

Nuno Espirito Santo let emotions get better of him in Wolves’ late win over Leicester

No tears for Pochettino despite Kane injury

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley ‘set to foot the bill for January transfers’


Lifestyle

What’s better for your health – sleeping naked or in pyjamas?

Fixing leeks in the cold snap

How some home truths can help save the planet

Wish List: Some delightfully eclectic products we need in our lives

More From The Irish Examiner