Julen Lopetegui confirms he was close to agreeing to lead a project in England before he was called to the Spain bench.
Lopetegui was linked to the takeover of Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers and would have been appointed there if the Spanish Football Federation hadn’t made contact when they did.
“It was very recently, in truth, two days ago. It’s happened very fast. I was called by the President. I hadn’t yet signed for the project in England and when I got that call there was nothing else, no other possibility,” Vicente del Bosque’s successor told Mundo Deportivo.
“It’s an honour to be Coach of my country. It’s a position of great responsibility that excites me a lot, generates a lot of excitement, means a lot of responsibility and will be very hard. The impact of the post is disproportionate.
“I read one reporter who said ‘the post after that of the President [of the country] that is most exposed is the national team Coach.’ I said ‘are you sure it’s next?’ Apart from that, coaching motivates me, it’s my passion, I like it and I approach it with great enthusiasm, responsibility, humility and desire.
“There are a lot of coaches who are superbly prepared to lead the national team. Spanish coaches are at a very high level and there are a lot who would do fantastically well. I wasn’t thinking about [not being favourite], which wasn’t under my control. I was a long way down the road with the English project, which was for three years and excited me a lot, but the national team appeared and when they knocked on my door there was nothing else.”