Sports

Julen Lopetegui sacking not justified, says Florentino Perez — Real Madrid

Julen Lopetegui sacking not justified, says Florentino Perez — Real Madrid”

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".

"There is not a single reason to get rid of him by Spain", Perez said.

Spain's World Cup preparations were thrown into turmoil on Wednesday as the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) sacked Lopetegui after Real Madrid confirmed he would take over at the Bernabeu for next three seasons.

"We wanted to do this event after the World Cup, after another win by the national team", Perez said. "But this is the happiest day", he said. "For me personally, it was a sensitive time, but problems are also opportunities to grow".

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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.

Asked if he regretted the decision, he replied: "We're completely convinced what we have done is honest and clear".

"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 reached an agreement very quickly, in a few hours, and wanted to make a show of transparency, to avoid all rumours and speculation during the tournament".

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Gil explained in his report that the majority of the squad were upset with Lopetegui-bar Real captain Sergio Ramos-most of whom felt the hypocrisy after he had encouraged them to put club distractions on hold while they were at the World Cup. "I hope that we can have a team with the same dreams, this can't distract us".

On Tuesday, Real Madrid announced that the 51-year-old coach would join at the end of the 2018 World Cup.

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.

"Cristiano is a player I have always admired, and would always want at my side", he said. In two years I have had four presidents in the federation.

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However, the players were "hurt" when they found out that Lopetegui had been negotiating with a club in the build-up to the finals. "We know how important he is, he is a constant danger", admitted Ramos of his Real Madrid colleague.



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