Julen Lopetegui says his Spain reign will be marked by “evolution, not revolution” after being unveiled as Vicente del Bosque’s successor on Thursday.
Lopetegui has agreed a two-year contract with Spain, which will provisionally take him until the 2018 World Cup, and other notable soundbites saw him confirm he had rejected an offer from an English club, purported to be Wolverhampton Wanderers, and assure he would “work to excite the fans again”.
“We’ll try to take advantage of all the good [Del Bosque] has done for Spanish football over the years,” the Coach began.
“We won’t throw out the many wonderful things that the national team have given us [in the past].
“Football doesn’t stop, it doesn’t live in the past. We’re very proud of the past, but we’re looking at the present and future.
“I think my experience at Porto, for its huge demands, has given me a lot of things.
“The Lopetegui of today is certainly different to the one that went to Portugal.
“I’m two years older and have more experience, so I hope they can help me make better decisions.
“Spanish football is represented by a wonderful generation of players and will continue [to be represented by wonderful players].
“We’ll work to excite the fans again and for the Spanish national team to regain their pride on the world stage.
“There’s no better mirror to look at than that of Vicente Del Bosque. He did an exemplary job and left the bar very high. I’m aware of this.”
He added, via the RFEF’s official Twitter account: “I had an agreement with an English team [reportedly Wolves], but the national team came up and there were no other options for me.
“False nine or a targetman? There are no absolute certainties in football, so we’ll see and make a decision from there.
“The basis [of my plans] for Spain is clear. There will be no revolution, but an evolution. Football lives in the present.
“I’m not thinking about transition [periods], I’m only thinking about winning and achieving successes with the national team.”
Basque-born Lopetegui made 317 La Liga appearances in a goalkeeping career which took him to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The 49-year-old then began his coaching career in 2003 as Spain Under-17’s assistant, before he guided their U19s and U21s to European Championship glory in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
His exploits with La Roja’s youth teams earned him his first top-level appointment in 2014 at Porto, but he lasted just 18 months without winning a trophy.