Koke laments Lopetegui departure

Spain international Koke has lamented the managerial chaos for his nation on the eve of this summer’s World Cup tournament.

The Atletico Madrid midfielder saw his penalty saved by Igor Akinfeev in Sunday’s last 16 penalty shootout defeat and admitted the abrupt change in the dugout last month was ‘tough’ for the team.

“Lopetegui was our leader and it was tough,” Koke is cited as saying by Marca.

“We knew we had to give everything we had during the game and Hierro did the best he could in the situation and the players tried to respond.

“I do not know if Hierro will continue or if there will be another style but we have a strong identity and that cannot be lost.

“It is sad for us that Iniesta is now gone too, we hope for a new cycle with new players coming through into the team.

“I cannot give an explanation of why we were not at our normal performance level in this World Cup as we achieved in other matches.

“This is a hard day for us and we do not believe we deserved this, we have not had any luck with the penalties.”

Tags Koke Spain