Real legend takes Spanish reins after shock sacking

Real legend takes Spanish reins after shock sacking

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez called the Spanish football federation's reaction to the club's signing of Lopetegui "disproportionate, unfair and without precedent in the world of football in similar cases".

Perez said Rubiales' reaction was "one of pride" and he "disrespected" Real.

Mourinho said that his dismissal from the national team should not affect Spain's chances at this summer's tournament but that he does feel some sympathy for the 51-year-old.

The 2010 world champions sacked Lopetegui on Wednesday afternoon, literally on the eve of the World Cup and two days before their match against Portugal in Sochi.

Spain's tough call to fire Lopetegui so near the tournament has divided opinion, but his new employers, and more specifically Perez, remain staunch in the belief La Furia Roja have made the wrong choice. Lopetegui was unbeaten in his 20 matches in charge of the national team. "We're supposed to be happy".

"But I also understand the position of the federation".

Lopetegui has also taken some heat for the way things went down, but he insisted he was above blame for having discussions with Madrid while Spain were preparing to face Portugal in Sochi on Friday. "We have acted professionally and honestly". But we have been professional, honest, and clear. "We tried to be transparent, I am very clear that I have been fully loyal, no doubts". "He qualified the national team to the World Cup in Russian Federation in a fantastic way - he did it unbeaten in 20 games as manager".

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"I feel sorry for the manager because he was with the [Spain] team for the last two years and of course he deserves to be with the team".

Speaking at his presentation to the media, an emotional Lopetegui said he made efforts to ensure the RFEF was informed of the agreement, which was meant to take him to Madrid after Spain's World Cup campaign.

"Cristiano is a player I have always admired, and would always want at my side", he said.

He said he was initially congratulated by federation president Luis Rubiales.

"It's not a huge problem for them because the players are so good that they pick themselves".

He described the day he was sacked as "the saddest day of my life since the death of my mother", and the 51-year-old former goalkeeper will surely find it hard to watch Friday's match. "We know how important he is, he is a constant danger", admitted Ramos of his Real Madrid colleague.

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