'I would do it again' - Spain coach Julen Lopetegui insists he has no regrets about Spain exit on eve of World Cup

By On September 04, 2018

'I would do it again' - Spain coach Julen Lopetegui insists he has no regrets about Spain exit on eve of World Cup

Former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui insists he would change nothing about his decision to accept the Real Madrid job on the eve of the World Cup, adding he still believes Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales was wrong to sack him.

Lopetegui was sensationally dismissed two days before Spain’s first World Cup group match against Portugal when Rubiales found out he had agreed to succeed Zinedine Zidane as Madrid boss after the tournament, despite having signed a new contract less than a month earlier.

Rubiales accused Madrid and Lopetegui of acting dishonourably by not informing him that talks were taking place, while Madrid president Florentino Perez called the Spanish federation president’s response an “absurd reaction of misunderstanding and pride” that undermined the national team’s chances of success at the World Cup.

Spain vs Russia World Cup player ratings

22 show all Spain vs Russia World Cup player ratings

1/22 Spain: David De Gea - 6 out of 10

Could do little for the penalty which was conceded by poor defence in front of him AFP/Getty Images

2/22 Nacho - 6 out of 10

In from the start ahead of Dani Carvajal, and had little to do defensively, made way for Carvajal in the second half AFP/Getty Images

3/22 Gerard Pique - 6 out of 10

Gave away the penalty with a needless handball, and struggled against the height of the Russians at set piec es AP

4/22 Sergio Ramos - 6 out of 10

Alongside Pique, looked less than comfortable with the height of Artem Dzyuba REUTERS

5/22 Jordi Alba - 6 out of 10

Had less impact on the game than he normally would, often made sharp runs forward that were missed by his teammates AFP/Getty Images

6/22 Koke - 5 out of 10

Similarly to Busquets he often chooses a sideways pass, must try harder to get in behind an ageing Russian def ence. Suffered the ignominy of having his penalty saved by Akinfeev. AFP/Getty Images

7/22 Sergio Busquets - 6 out of 10

His more defensive style worked well in terms of possession, but often passes to the side or short instead of looking further forward AFP/Getty Images

8/22 Marco Asensio - 6 out of 10

Given the chance from the offing, but unable to really penetrate the defence and link with Costa, in order to showcase his talent AFP/Getty Images

9/22 David Silva - 7 out of 10

Linked well with Isco, but one of many that needs to look forward and link more with Diego Costa left on his own upfront AFP/Getty Images

10/22 Isco - 7 out of 10

The new star of this Spanish team, always available for a pass and has the ability to beat players with ease Getty Images

11/22 Diego Costa - 6 out of 10

Easy to feel sorry for the former Chelsea man, who is at odds with the tika taka style, made good runs but ignored by his teammates who chose to pass sideways REUTERS

12/22 Russia: Igor Akinfeev - 8 out of 10

Could do nothing for the own goal, after being completely wrong-footed, and had little to do until his moment to shine in the shootout as he saved from Koke and Iago Aspas. AFP/Getty

13/22 Ilya Kutepov - 6 out of 10

Solid in defence, and cleared several balls early in the second half before they could reach the lurking Diego Costa AFP/Getty Images

14/22 Sergei Ignashevich - 6 out of 10

Made no attempt to get the ball, only to wrestle with Sergi o Ramos for his own goal. Poor, but his vast experience at 39 years old helped him through the half. AP

15/22 Fedor Kudryashov - 7 out of 10

Dealt well with the relentless Spanish possession despite their lack of real penetration to get in behind the defence AFP/Getty Images

16/22 Figueira Fernandes - 7 out of 10

Spent much of the game pressuring the Spanish tika taka possession, but tried to get forward in attack too when given a chance AFP/Getty Images

17/22 Da ler Kuzyaev - 7 out of 10

Industrial and no-nonsense defending, got behind the ball and dealt well with the constant Spanish pressure. Gave everything for his team. AFP/Getty Images

18/22 Roman Zobnin - 7 out of 10

Hard worker and had plenty to do up against the likes of David Silva and Isco. Conceded possession but ensured they didn’t advance upfield. AFP/Getty Images

19/22 Yuri Zhirkov - 6 out of 10

He was the villain early on giving the free kick away, which Spain eventually scored from. Grew into the game and didn’t let it affect his performance AP

20/22 Aleksandr Samedov - 6 out of 10

Hard working, and used his experience to frustrate Spain, whilst also looking to break up play and set Russia off on the counter AP

21/22 Aleksandr Golovkin - 7 out of 10

Quick, nimble and skilful, he is one of the most comfortable in possession for Russia, and tried to linked with Dzyuba AFP/Getty Images

22/22 Artem Dzyuba - 8 out of 10

The key man for Russia, his height and power ga ve them an outlet regardless of the amount of possession Spain had AP

1/22 Spain: David De Gea - 6 out of 10

Could do little for the penalty which was conceded by poor defence in front of him AFP/Getty Images

2/22 Nacho - 6 out of 10

In from the start ahead of Dani Carvajal, and had little to do defensively, made way for Carvajal in the second half AFP/Getty Images

3/22 Gerard Pique - 6 out of 10

Gave away the penalty with a needless handball, and struggled against the height of the Russians at set pieces AP

4/22 Sergio Ramos - 6 out of 10

Alongside Pique, looked less than comfortable with the height of Artem Dzyuba REUTERS

5/22 Jordi Alba - 6 out of 10

Had less impact on the game than he normally would, often made sharp runs forward that were missed by his teammates AFP/Getty Images

6/22 Koke - 5 out of 10

Similarly to Busquets h e often chooses a sideways pass, must try harder to get in behind an ageing Russian defence. Suffered the ignominy of having his penalty saved by Akinfeev. AFP/Getty Images

7/22 Sergio Busquets - 6 out of 10

His more defensive style worked well in terms of possession, but often passes to the side or short instead of looking further forward AFP/Getty Images

8/22 Marco Asensio - 6 out of 10

Given the chance from the offing, but unable to really penetrate the defence and link with Costa, in order to showcase his talent AFP/Getty Images

9/22 David Silva - 7 out of 10

Linked well with Isco, but one of many that needs to look forward and link more with Diego Costa left on his own upfront AFP/Getty Images

10/22 Isco - 7 out of 10

The new star of this Spanish team, always available for a pass and has the ability to beat players with ease Getty Images

11/22 Diego Costa - 6 out of 10

Easy to feel sorry for the former Chelsea man, who is at odds with the tika taka style, made good runs but ignored by his teammates who chose to pas s sideways REUTERS

12/22 Russia: Igor Akinfeev - 8 out of 10

Could do nothing for the own goal, after being completely wrong-footed, and had little to do until his moment to shine in the shootout as he saved from Koke and Iago Aspas. AFP/Getty

13/22 Ilya Kutepov - 6 out of 10

Solid in defence, and cleared several balls early in the second half before they could reach the lurking Diego Costa AFP/Getty Images

14/22 Sergei Ignashevich - 6 out of 10

Made no attempt to get the ball, only to wrestle with Sergio Ramos for his own goal. Poor, but his vast experience at 39 years old helped him through the half. AP

15/22 Fedor Kudryashov - 7 out of 10

Dealt well with the relentless Spanish possession despite their lack of real penetration to get in behind the defence AFP/Getty Images

16/22 Figueira Fernandes - 7 out of 10

Spent much of the game pressuring the Spanish tika taka possession, but tried to get forward in attack too when given a chance AFP/Getty Images

17/22 Daler Kuzyaev - 7 out of 10

Industrial and no-nonsense defending, got behind the ball and dealt well with the constant Spanish pressure. Gave everything for his team. AFP/Getty Images

18/22 Roman Zobnin - 7 out of 10

Hard worker and had plenty to do up against the likes of David Silva and Isco. Conceded possession but ensured they didn’t advance upfield. AFP/Getty Images

19/22 Yuri Zhirkov - 6 out of 10

He was the villain early on giving the free kick away, which Spain eventu ally scored from. Grew into the game and didn’t let it affect his performance AP

20/22 Aleksandr Samedov - 6 out of 10

Hard working, and used his experience to frustrate Spain, whilst also looking to break up play and set Russia off on the counter AP

21/22 Aleksandr Golovkin - 7 out of 10

Quick, nimble and skilful, he is one of the most comfortable in possession for Russia, and tried to linked with Dzyuba AFP/Getty Images

22/22 Artem Dzyuba - 8 out of 10

The key man for Russia, his height and power gave them an outlet regardless of the amount of possession Spain had AP

Under the temporary leadership of Madrid legend Fernando Hierro, Spain qualified from Group B as winners but suffered a shock defeat on penalties to hosts Russia in the round of 16.

"I simply took a decision and I would take the same one again,” Lopetegui said in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero. “I did it in the most honest way possible and I don't regret anything.

"I'm absolutely happy to coach Real Madrid, we have a special challenge and great objectives. What happened, happened and it can't be changed."

New Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui saw his side lose 4-2 to Atletico in the Uefa Super Cup (Getty)

Lopetegui was unveiled by Madrid the day after his sacking by Spain, saying, "yesterday was the worst day of my life, today is the best" during his presentation at Santiago Bernabeu.

"I don't want to look back, I explained how I felt in my presentation and I still feel that way," he added. "I don't worry about how it was explained, I don't think back. It's over, we explained how we felt and I insist that we did the right thing, which was to say yes to Real Madrid. I would do it again.”

Lopetegui has made a positive start to his tenure as Madrid coach, winning all of his first three La Liga matches to remain level on points with rivals Barcelona at the top of the table.

Spain appointed former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique as Lopetegui’s permanent replacement in July, and the Madrid boss added that he wishes his successor well in the run-up to Euro 2020.

"I hope things go phenomenally well for Spain and for Luis Enrique, I'm a fervent supporter of the national team," he added

"It's an era in my life which has gone by, we have moved on and now we are focused on an objective which is big enough to not worry about looking back. We're focused on the now, what happened before is done."

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Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain

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