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Julen Lopetegui breaks silence after being sacked as Spain boss on eve of World Cup 2018

By Mirror and Japheth Ogila | Published Thu, June 14th 2018 at 14:13, Updated June 14th 2018 at 15:31 GMT +3
Julen Lopetegui (in glasses) arrives in Madrid from Russia. [Photo/Courtesy]

Julen Lopetegui has admitted he was left "very sad" after he was sacked as Spain boss.

The 51-year-old was named as Real Madrid's new manager on Tuesday - then fired by his national team 24 hours later .

He was due to take charge of Spain's opening World Cup clash against Portugal on Friday but Fernando Hierro will now be in the dugout.

Lopetegui arrived in Madrid in the early hours of Thursday morning as he prepares to officially take over as Zinedine Zidane's replacement.

And as he left Moscow, he added: "We have a magnificent team and hopefully win the World Cup."

Real Madrid legend Hierro meanwhile he will "bravely" take on the challenge of managing his country.

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"It is a nice challenge and an exciting one," he said.

"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.

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

Meanwhile, Spanish giants Real Madrid have revealed that the former Spain national team coach will be unveiled later in the evening as the new club’s head coach.

Statement on their website states:

“Real Madrid CF will present Julen Lopetegui as the new first team manager today, Thursday June 14. The act will take place at 7:00 pm CEST at the Santiago Bernabeu presidential box.”.


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