After signing a three-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday, the 12th of June 2018, Lopetegui was poised to leave a big impression with Spain during the tournament. However, in an utterly shocking turn of events, the Spanish boss has been relieved of his duties as Spain’s head coach just few hours into the tournament.
At around 11am today [13th June 2018], the Spanish Football Federation headed by Luis Rubiales made the announcement during a press conference. Rubiales, the Spanish Football Federation president said, “We have been forced to dispense with the national coach. We wish him the greatest of luck”. Obviously, Lopetegui’s decision to accept the Real Madrid job whiles at post with the Spanish national team was the catalyst which triggered his sacking. Rubiales added, “I don’t want to get into how Real Madrid should go about things. The Spanish team is the team of all Spain. If it had been up to Julen, it wouldn’t have happened this way and I wouldn’t have found out five minutes beforehand. The negotiations have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just 5 minjutes before the press release. We have a way of behaving that needs to be adhered to. You can’t do things this way, two or three days before the world cup.
We have been obliged to make this decision. Obviously, there was some sort of problem with communication like this five minutes [before the announcement] and not take the necessary decisions.”
It is really incredible and we are yet to realize how this untimely change in the coaching department will affect the overall performance of the Spanish national team.
Considering the fierce rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, one is inclined to think that Real Madrid should have been more discreet about the deal and should have made the announcement of Lopetegui succeeding Zinedine Zidane as coach after the world cup competition.