Rubiales defends Lopetegui sacking

Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales has stated he remains ‘convinced’ that dismissing Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup was the correct decision.

Rubiales, only appointed in the role earlier this year, defended the decision to sack the 51-year-old just two days before the World Cup started following an agreement with Real Madrid.

Rubiales has confirmed he only found out about the 51-year-old’s agreement to join Madrid five minutes before the official announcement the previous day.

Spain were eliminated from the last 16 stage on Sunday following a penalty shootout elimination to Russia.

“We have to pass the page,” Rubiales told the Evening Standard.

“When you take a decision, with values and conviction all this responsibility gives you calm. Then we are in the current way.

“All my board and myself are completely, completely convinced that we are going in the right way.

“It’s a very difficult day for us because we are going out – it’s not the favourite team that is going out, but we go with the sensation that we are a better team than the team that is in the next round.

“But we say congratulations to Russia. We know how to win and we know how to lose. We have to come back in the next World Cup or European Championships… we will come back.

“I don’t want to speak about technical decisions. I’m the president, I’m not a coach.

“I only want to say thank you to Fernando Hierro and his staff and all the staff of the federation and the players. They were working a lot.”

“In the next weeks, we will speak about it but Fernando Hierro is an incredible man and he worked with spirit and I want to say thank you to him.”

Tags Luis Rubiales Spain World Cup