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Lopetegui arrival strengthens Real Madrid plans for Man Utd keeper De Gea

14 June, 2018, 15:03 | Author: Carla Brady
  • David de Gea Spain 2018

Spain has sacked manager Julen Lopetegui with immediate effect on the eve of the World Cup after the Spaniard apparently made "secret agreements" with Real Madrid to be their new manager.

Lopetegui and Luis Rubiales, who was elected federation president last month, will hold a press conference at Spain's base camp in Krasnodar, Russia, on Wednesday.

Speaking to the press shortly after 12pm CET, Rubiales - who was not accompanied by Lopetegui - said "we have been forced to dispense with the national coach".

"We have been compelled to act".

"It's a hard situation, but we are not the ones who determined the action that had to be taken".

Lopetegui had been in charge of Spain for two years after taking on the role back in 2016 and under his management, guided them to the World Cup with relative ease, winning nine out of 10 fixtures while drawing the other against Italy.

"There's a lot to do".

Rubiales said the appointment of the 50-year-old had been well received by the players.

Spain begin their campaign to regain the trophy from holders Germany on Friday evening, when they take on Portugal, with Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia set to open the tournament on Thursday afternoon. "If not, the national team won't happen", he admitted.

Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper who represented both Madrid and Barcelona during his playing days, has signed a three-year deal with the Spanish club. "When we know we will tell you".

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

"I was also surprised and it very much came out of the blue", he told the media, ahead of the defending champions' opening Group F encounter with Mexico on Sunday.

Lopetegui had led the national side on a 20-game unbeaten run since he took over after the 2016 European Championships, and they had every chance of winning the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Lopetegui has now been sacked by the RFEF hours prior to the big kick-off, and Allegri affirmed that he in fact had first bite at the vacancy before Spain's preparations were turned upside down.

For the first time since 2006, there are more players from Madrid in a Spanish squad for a major tournament, with a six-strong Real contingent and just Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets from Barca.



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