World Cup Russia 2018

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Spain squad all disagreed with how Sergio Ramos reacted to Lopetegui's sacking

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Spain sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui two days before their opening World Cup match against Portugal, after he was appointed as Zinedine Zidane's successor at Real Madrid.

On Tuesday, Real Madrid announced that the 51-year-old coach would join at the end of the 2018 World Cup.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales, who was told of Lopetegui's new job five minutes before it was announced, said he had found himself in "a very difficult situation".

"I know there's going to be criticism whatever I do," said Rubiales.

"I'm sure this will, in time, make us stronger. I admire Julen very much, I respect him very much. He seems a top trainer and that makes it harder to make the decision.

"You can't do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup. We have been compelled to make this decision."

Rubliales quickly replaced Lopetegui with the director of football, Fernando Hierro. 

What Sergio Ramos did

Spain captain Sergio Ramos will be working with Lopetegui at Real Madrid next season.

According to Sport, Ramos was the "only one who emphatically fought for him to remain in charge for the finals in Russia, alleging sporting reasons."

FBL-ESP-FRIENDLY-PRESSER

The 32-year-old defender - who tried to convince Rubiales to change his mind before Wednesday's press conference - stood alone in the dressing room with his stance on Lopetegui.

Sport insist the other 22 players were disappointed with the coach because he had told them all to focus on the national team and not to think about their futures at club level.

The players took that message on board and stayed faithful to Lopetegui's request.

However, the players were "hurt" when they found out that Lopetegui had been negotiating with a club in the build-up to the finals.

FBL-FRIENDLY-ESP-PRESSER

As per Sport, "Lopetegui had lost the confidence of the dressing room and Ramos had no support."

Rubiales recognised this and decided that the former Porto managed needed to be fired.

“It is a nice challenge and an exciting one," Hierro told reporters in Krasnodar.

Spain Training Session - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

“The circumstances are what they are and from now on I accept the responsibility bravely, it can’t be any other way.”

“We have a group of players who have been together for two years to work towards the World Cup and I have been sporting director, so I understand the motivation is huge.

“We cannot alter two years of hard work in the coming days – from now until the Portugal match, we don’t have the ability to change much.

“The key is to change as little as possible. We cannot change anything in two days."

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Topics:
Football
Julen Lopetegui
Sergio Ramos
Spain Football
La Liga
Real Madrid
World Cup

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