football

World Cup 2018: Spain have no regrets over sacking Julen Lopetegui on eve of tournament


The just 24 hours after Real Madrid had announced him as their next manager.

But the man who made that controversial decision, Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales, insists it was the right call and that he does not regret it.

Spain ended up crashing out of the last 16 on penalties to Russia with now in the firing line.

But Rubiales said: “I’ve never regretted my decision. In difficult moments you must be calm; in sport the best team doesn’t always win.

“We’re leaving with a feeling of pain. We have the feeling that we’ve been eliminated by a team that wasn’t at our level. They’ve been successful because of penalties.

“I am completely convinced we made the right decision. We have to pass the page. When you take a decision, with values and conviction all this responsibility gives you calm.

“All my board and myself are completely, completely convinced that we are going in the right way.”

Hierro made two controversial decisions to leave out talisman Andres Iniesta and keep faith with David De Gea, and talks will now be held to decide his future.

Iniesta, who came on as a substitute but couldn’t lead Spain through, announced his retirement from international football after the game.

And De Gea, who allowed six goals on just seven shots during the tournament and did not save a single penalty, will have nightmares about this for a long time to come.

But Rubiales said: “We will come back. In the next weeks, we will speak about it but Fernando Hierro is an incredible man and he worked with spirit and I want to say thank you to him.”



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