Real Madrid Appoint Surprise Choice As New Manager

De Gea and Sanchez meet in Russia

De Gea and Sanchez meet in Russia

Lopetegui, who last month signed a new contract through to 2020 with Spain, spent three years with Real as a player.

Real Madrid, having been caught unaware by Zinedine Zidane's resignation after the Champions League final, had made contact with Lopetegui on Friday.

The players are said to have called on Lopetegui to remain in charge of the national side but Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales held a press conference on Wednesday morning to confirm the departure.

I'm very surprised at the timing of it - two days before their opening game - but they still have an excellent, experienced squad with some top players in it.

After Madrid's announcement that it hired Lopetegui, critics immediately began questioning some of the coach's decisions with the national team, including his choice to leave some Barcelona players such as Sergi Roberto out of the World Cup squad. "We wish you the greatest of luck", said Rubiales.

Julen Lopetegui - who was surprisingly announced as the new Real Madrid manager on Tuesday - was sacked on Wednesday morning. But the federation can not be left outside the negotiation of one of its employees, and find out just five minutes before a public announcement. There is a way of acting that must be fulfilled.

The news comes just two days before Spain's first game of the World Cup and in the wake of Real Madrid announcing that Lopetigui would be taking over as the club's manager after the World Cup. There is a lot to do.

"I do not feel betrayed because Julen has done a relentless job, but we are forced to move on this because of how things have been done". Lopetegui has done impeccable work. [However], this has been done without knowledge of the RFEF.

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"What we will do is touch as little as possible the national camp", Rubiales said.

"If it had been up to Julen it wouldn't have happened in this way and I wouldn't have found out five minutes beforehand".

United star, De Gea has been vocal on his future in recent weeks, with the Spain global revealing he's fully focused on the World Cup in Russian Federation. "It may look like a weakness now, but with time this will make us stronger". He is a top coach for me, which made the decision very hard. "We had to react, I know that whatever I do I will be criticised, I accept that".

"I know him well, and I know that he represents whichever institution he is a part of very well".

Addressing the media in Russia, Rubiales revealed he had only been told of Real's decision five minutes before they announced Lopetegui's appointment. "We have to think about what is best for the entity, for the federation and the team, and from this afternoon we will all be together to go forward".

"The team will do everything to get the best results, we can not talk about hypothesis, but the RFEF can not find out five minutes before it becomes public". In the RFEF we can not not fulfil our own values.

"We are left in a complicated situation", Rubiales said.

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