Home Football New Real Madrid Manager Julen Lopetegui Breaks His Silence On Spain Sacking

New Real Madrid Manager Julen Lopetegui Breaks His Silence On Spain Sacking

The last 48 hours are likely to be the most turbulent of Julen Lopetegui’s career, possibly his life even.

On Tuesday morning he was still with the Spain squad in Russia, preparing them for their World Cup opener against Portugal as they looked start the campaign on a strong footing. Cut to Thursday evening, and the former Porto boss was sitting next to Florentino Perez at a press conference in Madrid, being introduced as Real’s new manager.

In the interim period, it had been confirmed that Lopetegui had been appointed as the new Real manager, with his duties to begin once his World Cup commitments with Spain had come to an end.

Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales took the way in which all of this business had been conducted as an affront to the association and Spanish national setup as a whole, and fired the manager in a flurry of drama on Wednesday morning. Fernando Hierro was selected as his replacement hours later, and the former Real and Bolton defender will now be entrusted with La Roja’s assault on the trophy.

TOPSHOT - The new coach of the Spanish national football team, Fernando Hierro, attends a press conference at Krasnodar Academy on June 13, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. - Spain today named the federation sporting director Fernando Hierro as its World Cup coach to replace Julen Lopetegui, who was sensationally sacked after his appointment as Real Madrid manager. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking to reporters, Lopetegui said Thursday that the day that he was sacked as Spain coach was the “saddest” since the death of his mother as he was officially unveiled as Zinedine Zidane’s successor at the Bernabeu

“Yesterday was the saddest day of my life since the death of my mother. But today is the happiest day of my life.

“It was a surreal day.

“One of the nice things was the respect and affection shown to me by the players. I think respect is earned and we earned it. Me and my staff worked really hard, and they (Spanish FA) took our dream away from us.

“They, the players, have a great challenge ahead. They’re well prepared and hopefully we have that little bit of luck needed to win the World Cup.”

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 14:  Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui speaks during a press conference at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 14, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. Julen Lopetegui was fired by Spain's soccer federation two days before Spain's World Cup opener against Portugal.  (Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images)

Having been expected to take the reins after the World Cup campaign, Lopetegui will now take up his new role immediately and set about succeeding the most successful manager in modern Real Madrid history.

No pressure, then.

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