'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 Spainâs 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 presidentâs response an âabsurd reaction of misunderstanding and prideâ that undermined the national teamâs chances of success at the World Cup.
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,â Lopetegui said in an interview with Spanish radio station Onda Cero. âI 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."
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.â
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 Lopeteguiâs 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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